A day of listless trading on Wall Street ended Thursday with another record high for the S&P 500.
The benchmark index notched its third consecutive gain after spending most of the day wavering between small gains and losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq composite also budged little, capping the day with miniscule drops.
The market’s lethargic turn came on a day with little market-moving news. Investors were still awaiting more details on the status of trade talks between the U.S. and China.
Published reports have suggested this week that negotiations between the world’s two largest economies have hit some snags. Beijing is pressing Washington to roll back tariffs as part of a potential deal that the nations are trying to hammer out.
While the market has been sensitive to the swings in the trade talks, the latest speculation did not put most investors in a selling mood.
“We’ve had headlines like this before and the market is doing a little bit better job of looking through them,” said Sameer Samana, senior global market strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute. “Until something is announced, yay or nay, it probably doesn’t make much sense to trade on it, especially when President Trump himself has tweeted out that talks are going well.”
The S&P 500 rose 2.59 points, or 0.1%, to 3,096.63. The Dow slipped 1.63 points, or less than 0.1%, to 27,781.96. The index had briefly been down around 100 points.
The Nasdaq fell 3.08 points, or less than 0.1%, to 8,479.02. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks dropped 0.39 points, or less than 0.1%, to 1,588.79.
The broader market has been gaining ground for weeks on hopes that the U.S. and China can make progress in their latest push for a deal. Investors have also been encouraged by surprisingly good corporate earnings and data showing the economy is still growing solidly. And the Federal Reserve has helped, lowering interest rates three times this year. The central bank has signaled that it’s done lowering rates, for now, unless the U.S. economy shows any major signs of trouble.