Investing.com – A strong opening stock rally Thursday faded in the afternoon in part because of worries about the upcoming U.S.-China trade talks.
The concern was prompted when Michael Pillsbury, a prominent adviser to President Donald Trump, told the South China Morning Post that Trump on Chinese imports unless a trade agreement can be quickly negotiated.
Formal talks between the United States and China are supposed to resume in October.
The finished flat on the day. It had been up as much as 0.5%. The were down 0.2% after rising as many as 125 points. The ended up 0.7%; the index had been up as much as 0.7%.
Apple (NASDAQ:), Boeing (NYSE:) and Walt Disney (NYSE:) all pulled the Dow lower. Apple and Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:) were among the big reasons for the swoon in the Nasdaq, as well as the .
Boeing’s decline may have been prompted by Ryanair Holdings (NASDAQ:) CEO Michael O’Leary’s projection the airline won’t resume flying the 737 Max until late February or early March.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:) hit a 52-week high before falling back. The software giant announced late Wednesday it was boosting its dividend by 11% and planning to buy back up to $40 billion of its shares. Microsoft’s market capitalization stood at $1.085 trillion, ahead of Apple’s $1 trillion market cap.
Also weighing on stocks was uncertainty over whether the Federal Reserve will cut rates again in 2019. The Fed cut its key federal funds rate to 1.75% to 2% on Wednesday to protect the 10-year-old economic expansion from trade stresses and economic slowing in Europe, China and elsewhere.
Investing.com’s suggests a 55% chance the Fed will do nothing in October, but will likely cut rates again at its December meeting.
Perhaps as a result, interest rates were little changed Thursday. The yield moved to 1.789% from Wednesday’s 1.784%.
And stocks that often benefit from low rates did well, including home builder PulteGroup (NYSE:), Hovnanian Enterprises (NYSE:) and paint company Sherwin-Williams (NYSE:).
Oil prices moved higher. was up 15 cents to $58.19 a barrel. was up 89 cents to $64.40.
dropped back slightly to $1,506.20 an ounce in New York.
Healthcare, utilities and real estate were the strongest sectors of the market. The weakest were industrials, financials and consumer discretionaries. fell 11% after issuing a profit warning, especially over business in Europe.
FedEx (NYSE:), crushed Wednesday, rebounded to a 1% gain.
Insurance giant Cigna (NYSE:), Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:) Alexion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:) and medical-device maker Align Technology (NASDAQ:) were among the top S&P 500 performers.
Hard-drive maker Seagate Technology (NASDAQ:), Olive Garden-parent Darden Restaurants (NYSE:), Noble Energy (NYSE:) and department store giant Macy’s (NYSE:) were among the weakest S&P performers.
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