Major U.S. stock indexes ended mixed Monday as large companies gave up early gains and smaller companies closed broadly higher.

The S&P 500 ended virtually flat as losses in technology and health care stocks outweighed gains in financials and other sectors. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks, which has lagged the S&P 500 this year, outpaced the rest of the market.

Investors are taking a shine to smaller-company stocks in hopes that they'll be better shielded from the fallout of the costly trade war between the U.S. and China than large multinationals.

"If you're making your product or service in the U.S. and selling it to U.S. customers, you're somewhat more insulated from the global trade volatility and the slower growth that's spawning from that globally, too," said Ben Phillips, chief investment officer at EventShares.

The S&P 500 inched 0.28 points lower, or less than 0.1%, to 2,978.43. The index, which has finished higher the past two weeks, is within 1.6% of its all-time high set in late July.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 38.05 points, or 0.1%, to 26,835.51. The Nasdaq fell 15.64 points, or 0.2%, to 8,087.44. The Russell 2000 climbed 19.06 points, or 1.3%, to 1,524.23.

The broader market has bounced back the past two weeks following a bout of volatility brought on by the trade war as Washington and Beijing imposed new tariffs on more of each other's imported goods.

Investors worry the escalation of tariffs may be dampening global economic growth and threatening to nudge the United States into a recession.

Traders are hoping for a deal between the world's two largest economies and were encouraged last week by news that talks will resume in October.

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