S&P 500 struggles for direction as trade deal optimism fades
By Medha Singh and Devik Jain (Reuters) - The S&P 500 was little changed on Tuesday with investors staying on the sidelines following a three-day rally, as optimism from U.S. and China officials pledging firm commitment to a Phase 1 trade deal petered out.
By Medha Singh and Devik Jain
(Reuters) - The S&P 500 was little changed on Tuesday with investors staying on the sidelines following a three-day rally, as optimism from U.S. and China officials pledging firm commitment to a Phase 1 trade deal petered out.
The benchmark S&P 500 opened at a record high as the news eased some concerns the deal could be on shaky ground, but the sentiment soon faded as China said it had lodged "stern representations" with the United States, accusing it of sending a U.S. spy plane into a no-fly zone over Chinese live-fire military drills.
"There is beginning to be more and more tension between the two biggest economies in the world," said John Cunnison, chief investment officer of Baker Boyer in Washington.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq logged new closing highs on Monday, boosted by signs of progress in developing treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.
The benchmark index surpassed its pre-pandemic high last week, even as recent economic indicators signaled a bumpy recovery from the virus-induced downturn.
A survey from the Conference Board showed U.S. consumer confidence unexpectedly fell in August to a six-year low.
The centerpiece event of the week is an annual conference of U.S. central bankers where Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak.
Among stocks, Salesforce.com Inc
Cloud computing heavyweight Salesforce is expected to report second-quarter results after markets close.
The three companies will replace Exxon Mobil Corp
Exxon's drop also dragged the energy sector <.SPNY> down 1.6% despite oil prices touching 5-month highs.
At 12:44 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was down 139.55 points, or 0.49%, at 28,168.91, the S&P 500 <.SPX> was up 1.86 points, or 0.05%, at 3,433.14. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> was up 33.62 points, or 0.30%, at 11,413.34.
Medtronic and Amgen's shares pushed the healthcare sector <.SPXHC> 0.5% higher, providing the biggest boost to the benchmark S&P 500.
American Airlines Group Inc
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.62-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.07-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 25 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 53 new highs and 22 new lows.
(Reporting by Medha Singh and Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr, Arun Koyyur and Shounak Dasgupta)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.