Stocks finished mostly lower on Thursday as trade-war rages on.
U.S. stocks gave back gains in the final hour of Thursday’s session, as ongoing trade tensions between Washington and Beijing continued to weigh on investors’ sentiment.
The Nasdaq Composite Index (NYSEARCA:QQQ) inched closer to record highs on Thursday before pairing gains ahead of the close. The tech-driven average settled flat at 7,891.78.
The broader S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY) reversed gains to finish down 0.1% at 2,853.58. Among the 11 primary sectors tracked by the index, five finished in positive territory. Telecom and materials were the strongest gainers while energy shares slumped the most.
Dow industrials (NYSEARCA:DIA) closed down 74.52 points, or 0.3%, at 25,509.23.
A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX (NYSEARCA:VXX) rose 4.2% to 11.30 on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic average.
In economic data, U.S. producer prices stalled unexpectedly last month, signaling tame inflation at the factory-gate level.
The Department of Labor’s producer price index (PPI) was unchanged in July following a 0.3% increase the month before. Analysts in a median forecast called for a monthly gain of 0.2%. In annualized terms, PPI rose 3.3%.
Initial jobless claims, a proxy for firings in the jobs market, declined by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 213,000 last week, the lowest in nearly five decades. Analysts had forecast a weekly reading of 220,000.
The Final Word: Stocks remain on solid footing in August despite growing concerns facing tech shares. Morgan Stanley warned investors on Thursday that semiconductor stocks could face downward pressure due to the ongoing trade spat between the United States and China.