Late rally sends U.S. stock indexes higher

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"Everybody is bracing for that", Kleintop said of expected US tariffs on $50 billion to $60 billion worth of annual imports from China that will likely intensify U.S.

Amazon fell 5.2 percent following broadsides from Trump on Twitter.

"The market is repricing stocks accordingly", says Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial. -China trade spat offset a drop in USA drilling activity.

The Dow was down 1.02 per cent at 23,787.67. The Nasdaq Composite Index and the S&P 500 index are on track for their best comebacks since Feb 9, when the Nasdaq tumbled 2.2% to end up 1.4% and the S&P 500 logged a 1.5% gain after being down 1.9% on the day.

A steep sell-off in shares of big tech stocks, whose size is a key price driver of the broad, market-cap weighted S&P 500 index, was a major drag.

The retaliation was the latest sign that trade conflicts between the USA and major trading partners are escalating, something analysts have cited as a primary risk for equities this year (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/geopolitical-risk-is-at-a-nearly-three-year-high-heres-why-thats-not-a-reason-to-sell-stocks-2018-01-08).

At 11:20 a.m. ET. The technology index .SPLRCT was down 2.7 percent.

Wholesale gasoline dropped 5 cents to $1.97 a gallon. Only consumer staples sat higher on the day. But, while Washington's list covers many obscure industrial items, Beijing's covers 106 key USA imports including soybeans, planes, cars, and chemicals.

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"We import a lot of technology from China", said Paul Nolte, a senior vice president and portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management. Ford and General Motors also climbed.

Viacom Inc dropped more than 4 percent after Reuters reported CBS Corp planned to make an all-stock offer that valued the media company below its current market valuation.

Large technology companies also saw their shares continue to slump, with Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Google-parent Alphabet (GOOGL) and Facebook (FB) all seeing declines on the day. Samsung Electronics fell 2.02 percent. 28 of the 30 constituents of the Philadelphia semiconductor index were lower. It was down as much as 639 in early afternoon trading.

The Dow, which is now 11.2% below its January 26 all-time high, fell deeper into correction territory.

Oil dropped to a two-week low on Wednesday, but crude bounced off session lows when US data showed a weekly decline in crude stocks, instead of the increase analysts had expected.

Tyson Foods dropped 6.2 percent after China raised tariffs on imported US goods including pork.

Brent crude futures fell 47 cents to $67.65 a barrel, a 0.7-per-cent loss. The contract plunged $1.93 on Monday to close at $63.01.

In the USA, all 11 S&P sectors are lower, with industrials (-1.8%), materials (-1.8%) and energy (-1.8%) the worst performers, while utilities (-0.6%), consumer staples (-0.3%) and real estate (-0.3%) hold up relatively well.

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