August 3, 2018 / 6:54 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-S&P, Dow advance as investors shrug off trade jitters

* U.S. adds 157,000 jobs in July

* China announces new tariffs on $60 bln of U.S. imports

* Kraft Heinz, Dish shares up after earnings beats

* Symantec slides on lowered revenue forecast

* Dow up 0.37 pct, S&P up 0.32 pct, Nasdaq down 0.01 pct (Updates to late afternoon, changes dateline to NEW YORK, changes byline)

By Stephen Culp

NEW YORK, Aug 3 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained ground and the Nasdaq was essentially flat on Friday as positive earnings helped investors overlook heightened trade tensions and weaker than expected July jobs growth.

For the week, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq looked set to post gains. The Dow was on track to post a weekly loss.

China upped the ante on the trade dispute, announcing new retaliatory tariffs on 5,207 goods imported from the United States, including liquefied natural gas (LNG) and some aircraft.

Chinese officials vowed to reciprocate earlier this week when the Trump administration proposed hiking tariffs to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of goods imported from China.

The trade-sensitive industrials sector edged down 0.1 percent.

"We have the trade war racking investors, on top of that we have some of the benefits from the tax cuts wearing off, and then after that the midterms," said Michael Geraghty, equity strategist at Cornerstone Capital Group in New York.

"'Strengthening headwinds' is going to be the phrase the second half of the year," Geraghty added. "Things become increasingly tougher for the markets to make a lot of progress."

A report from the Labor Department showed the U.S. economy added 157,000 jobs in July, fewer than the 190,000 economists expected, though the unemployment rate edged down to 3.9 percent.

Other data showed the U.S. trade deficit in June surged 7.3 percent to $46.3 billion, its biggest increase since November 2016. The politically sensitive trade gap with China widened by 0.9 percent to $33.5 billion.

Shares of Apple Inc were up modestly a day after becoming the first publicly-traded U.S. company to reach $1 trillion in market value.

The S&P consumer staples sector rose 1.3 percent, the most among the major S&P sectors. The sector's advance was led by Kraft Heinz, up 8.6 percent after the packaged foods company topped quarterly profit and revenue estimates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 93.52 points, or 0.37 percent, to 25,419.68, the S&P 500 gained 9.16 points, or 0.32 percent, to 2,836.38 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.09 points, or 0.01 percent, to 7,801.59.

Of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, nine were in positive territory.

The second-quarter reporting season nears its final stretch with 406 of the companies in the S&P 500 having reported, 78.6 percent of which came in above Street estimates, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Shares of Dish Network Corp jumped 12.6 percent following its better-than-expected quarterly earnings report.

Executives for American International Group Inc tried to downplay weak earnings and promised a turnaround, but the insurer's shares dipped 2.9 percent.

Cyber security firm Symantec Corp was among the biggest percentage losers on the S&P, dropping 9.9 percent after announcing a workforce reduction and lowering its yearly revenue forecast.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.26-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.48-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 22 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 71 new highs and 62 new lows. (Reporting by Stephen Culp Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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