Best August since 2014 in cards despite early stock-market dip Friday

U.S. stocks slipped in early Friday trade in the final session in August, as investors confronted the prospect of a tariff clashes with other major economies, following reports that President Donald Trump was likely to push forward with tariffs against China. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened 0.2% lower at 25,936, the S&P 500 index was flat, while the Nasdaq Composite Index traded slightly higher at 8,095, less than 0.1%. For the week and month, the Dow was on track for a weekly climb of 0.8% and a monthly gain of 2.3%, the S&P 500 was set for a rise of 0.9% for the week and an August gain of 3%, while the Nasdaq was poised for a weekly advance of 1.8% and a return over the month of 5.4%. The S&P 500 and Dow were set for their best August performance in four years while the Nasdaq was looking at its best such return since 2000, according to FactSet data. Bloomberg on Thursday reported that Trump wants to move ahead with his plan to slap tariffs on $200 billion in additional Chinese imports as early as next week. Companies have until Sept. 6 to comment on the proposed duties, and Trump wants to impose the tariffs once that deadline passes. Still, market participants are awaiting trade-talk developments between the U.S. and Canada, which are still under way as a part of negotiations to refashion the North American Free Trade Agreement. In corporate news, Lululemon Athletica Inc. late Thursday reported second-quarter earnings that beat expectations and also raised its full-year outlook.

Have breaking news sent to your inbox. Subscribe to MarketWatch's free Bulletin emails.