Stocks Mixed Early Thursday

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks are little changed after two days of losses as investors hope for positive developments between the U.S. and its two biggest trading partners, Canada and China. Industrial and retail companies are rising while technology companies are slipping again.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index slid 7 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,881 as of 10:25 a.m. Eastern time. It's down 0.7 percent this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 25 points, or 0.1 percent, to 26,000.

The Nasdaq composite fell 48 points, or 0.6 percent, to 7,946 after a 1.2 percent drop Wednesday. The Russell 20000 index of smaller-company stocks remained at 1,727. Just over half of the stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange traded higher.

TRADE UPDATE: The U.S. could put a 25 percent tax on $200 billion in Chinese goods. A public comment period on the proposal expired overnight and media reports have said the tariffs could be announced this week.

The U.S. and China have put taxes on $50 billion in imports, but the larger tariffs would represent a major escalation in the dispute between the two largest trading partners in the world. China has vowed to retaliate.

Representatives from the U.S. and Canada will continue their talks Thursday after a negotiating session that stretched into Wednesday night. They are discussing a deal that would allow Canada to remain in an updated version of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

BOOKED A NEW ROOM: LaSalle Hotel Properties said it accepted an offer from Pebblebrook Hotel Trust worth $37.80 in cash, or $4.18 billion. LaSalle had agreed to be bought by investment firm Blackstone for $3.7 billion in May.

Shares of the companies had little reaction. LaSalle shares dipped 0.6 percent to $34.81 while Pebblebrook stock fell 3.2 percent to $37.27. Blackstone lost 0.2 percent to $36.37.

EARNINGS: Drone maker AeroVironment added to huge recent gains as it rose 15.7 percent to $101.24. The stock has climbed 80 percent in 2018.

G-III Apparel had a stronger second quarter than analysts expected and raised its earnings and sales forecasts for the rest of the year. The stock advanced 11.9 percent to $49.30.

Lands' End fell 18.8 percent to $20.30 after it took a bigger loss than analysts expected, while its sales also fell short of Wall Street projections. The company said sales at Lands' End Shops inside Sears stores continued to fall sharply.

CRISIS IN EMERGING MARKETS: While the U.S. economy has gained strength this year, investors are worried about the impact of rising interest rates and trade disputes on fast-growing, but often fragile, emerging economies. The currencies of Argentina, Turkey and Iran have all hit record lows recently and Venezuela's currency has lost almost all its value.

While each of those countries has different problems, the Federal Reserve's interest rate increases have made some U.S. assets more attractive and investors are responding by pulling money out of emerging markets. That's exposed financial vulnerabilities elsewhere.

The worry is that big losses in some developing markets could ripple out into the global financial system, as they have in the past, notably in the late 1990s, when several Asian countries eventually required financial rescue.

BONDS: Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.90 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 0.1 percent to $68.80 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 0.3 percent to $77.53 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar dipped to 111.17 yen from 111.51 yen. The euro rose to $1.1640 from $1.1623.

OVERSEAS: The CAC 40 in France added 0.4 percent and Germany's DAX slipped 0.1 percent. In Britain, the FTSE 100 lost 0.2 percent.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.4 percent and the Kospi in South Korea dropped 0.2 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng tumbled 1 percent.

(BE)