Stocks close higher after Trump signs tariffs

(CNBC) Stocks closed higher on Thursday after President Donald Trump implemented steel and aluminum import tariffs that excluded Canada and Mexico, two key U.S. trade partners.

The S&P 500 closed 0.45 percent higher at 2,738.97, with utilities and consumer staples as the best-performing sector. The Dow Jones industrial average ended 93.85 points higher at 24,895.21. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.4 percent to 7,427.95. The major averages alternated between gains and losses throughout the session.

“The main focus is on tariffs,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial. “The question for the market is what do these tariffs mean in terms of their economic impact.”

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