WASHINGTON, April 14 — The Dow climbed but S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell in early US trading today, as investors digested new economic data, hawkish Federal Reserve commentary, and the latest Elon Musk drama.

The Tesla boss made a surprise offer to buy Twitter outright, days after taking a large stake in the social media company but turning down an offer to join its board.

Meanwhile, the government reported slightly weaker than expected US retail sales in March as American consumers faced high inflation, while a top Fed official expressed confidence the central bank rate hikes can bring the rising prices under control without jeopardising economic growth.

Markets are closed for a holiday on Friday, and Patrick J. O’Hare of Briefing.com noted that the week’s final trading session includes expiration of a large amount of options — which Bloomberg estimates are worth more than US$2 trillion (RM8.4 trillion) — so “the potential for continued volatility remains alive and well.”

About 20 minutes into trading, the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.5 per cent at 34,722.93.

The broad-based S&P 500 was down 0.2 per cent at 4,436.62, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.6 per cent to 13,556.86.

Twitter was trading 2.1 per cent higher as markets reacted to Musk’s offer, while Tesla was down three per cent. — AFP