Capping a low-volume, late-summer week marked by tariff-related volatility, all three major USA indexes posted net gains for the period. The S&P 500 opened lower by 2.76 points, or 0.10 percent, at 2,898.37.
Hampering a rally in US stocks early this week was a report that President Donald Trump was ready to impose tariffs on $200 billion more of Chinese goods as soon as a public comment period on the plan ends next week.
A separate report on Friday about Canadian government officials expressing concerns that a final North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) pact will not be reached within the Friday deadline, added to the trade worries.
"The markets are amidst a trade trifecta today, with China, Canada and the US and it's likely to weigh on sentiment this afternoon due to pre-holiday light trading", said John Augustine, chief investment officer at Huntington Private Bank in Columbus, Ohio.
The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 8,109.54 points, up 21.17 points, or 0.26 percent.
The S&P 500 ended flat while the Dow edged down and the Nasdaq closed higher in light trading on Friday as trade talks between Canada and the United States concluded without resolution ahead of the Labor Day weekend.More news: Citing Trump tariffs, Ford cancels China-built Focus Active crossover for US
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In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 8.37 points at 25,995.29.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.16-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.60-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.
Goldcorp fell 1.1 percent to 14.16 Canadian dollars while Barrick Gold lost 11 cents to 13.60 Canadian dollars.
The FTSE 100 Index closed at 7,432.42 points, down 83.61 points, or 1.11 percent.
The VIX Volatility Index was lower at 12.86 for a loss of -0.67 points or -4.95%.
The Nasdaq is up 1,206.15 points, or 17.5 percent.