U.S. stocks add fresh gains

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks posted slight gains on Wall Street on Monday, adding a bit to the last two weeks of gains.

However, trading remains choppy as uncertainty continued over several ongoing trade disputes and their possible effect on economic growth.

The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 22.92 points, or 0.1%, to 26,112.53. The S&P 500 index rose 2.69 points, or 0.1%, to 2,889.67 and the Nasdaq composite index rose 48.37 points, or 0.6%, to 7,845.02.

Financial companies were the biggest losers as bond yields slipped. The KBW Bank index, a measurement of the 24 biggest banks, fell 1.3%.

The muted gains mirror last week’s pattern of choppy day-to-day trading as investors search for direction ahead of an interest rate decision by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday.

Investors focused on a round of deal-making, while continuing to pay close attention to the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China.

The current impact from the spat between the U.S. and China isn’t enough to cause a recession, but a further escalation of tensions could become a trigger, according to Jason Pride, chief investment officer of private wealth for Glenmede.

“I think that’s why investors are so focused on this trade issue,” he said. “In a worst case scenario, we’re talking about a 1.5% GDP impact.”

The worst-case scenario would involve additional tariffs on Chinese goods along with other global tariffs, including the currently postponed actions against Mexico.

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