Stocks finish mixed higher as trade tensions linger.
U.S. stocks traded mixed on Wednesday after the Trump administration proposed a new round of trade negotiations with China following threats to impose further tariffs on the country.
The large-cap S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY) reversed losses to close at 2,888.92, virtually flat compared with Tuesday. Most major sectors tracked by the index finished in positive territory, with discretionary and telecom shares among the best performers.
The technology-driven Nasdaq Composite Index (NYSEARCA:QQQ) closed down 0.2% at 7,954.23.
Dow industrials (NYSEARCA:DIA) edged up 0.1% to 25,998.92.
A measure of 30-day volatility known as the CBOE VIX (NYSEARCA:VXX) declined slightly on Wednesday in a sign of prevailing calm on Wall Street. The so-called “fear index” declined 1.9% to 12.98 on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic average. VIX spiked to two-month highs last week but has since been neutralized.
The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that senior U.S. officials, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, have sent an invitation to Chinese counterparts to resume trade negotiations. Washington is looking to resume trade talks in the coming weeks.
The Final Word: Trade negotiations continue to dominate the headlines after President Trump threatened to implement tariffs on practically all of China’s exports to the United States. Meanwhile, Canada and the U.S. have struggled to come to terms on a new NAFTA agreement weeks before a self-imposed deadline by the Trump administration.