Stocks settle mixed as attention shifts to U.S.-China trade talks.
The U.S. stock market finished mixed to lower on Monday, as investors scrutinized the possibility of a comprehensive trade agreement with China next month.
Wall Street’s major indices finished mixed in early-week trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) edged up 38.86 points, or 0.2%, to 26,836.32.
The broad S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY) traded between gains and losses before settling flat at 2,978.43. Six of 11 primary sectors finished lower. Health care was the biggest decliner, followed by real estate.
Sliding technology shares weighed on the Nasdaq Composite Index (NYSEARCA:QQQ), which finished down 0.2% to 8,087.44.
A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX (NYSEARCA:VXX) rose on Monday, snapping a three-day losing streak. The so-called “fear index” climbed 2.1% to 15.32 on a scale of 1-100 where 20-25 represents the historic average.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin struck an optimistic tone on Monday ahead of planned trade negotiations with China scheduled for next month.
“I think the enforcement area we at least have a conceptual, an agreement on,” Mnuchin told Fox Business. At the same time, he said the Trump administration had no qualms about keeping heavy tariffs on Chinese goods if a deal can’t be reached.
Both countries have been locked in a bitter trade dispute for more than a year, resulting in slower business investment and economic growth across the globe.
The Final Word: Economic data are back in the headlines this week, with the U.S. government scheduled to report on consumer and producer prices. The monthly inflation reports could feed into expectations concerning monetary policy ahead of the Federal Reserve’s September meeting.