The Dow struggled for conviction during the week’s penultimate trading session, as Wall Street remained on edge ahead of President Trump’s high-stakes meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Wall Street’s major indices diverged during the Thursday morning session.
As of 10:39 am ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had lost 3.68 points or 0.01%; the DJIA last traded at 26,533.14.
The Dow struggled to overcome a 2.29% plunge by Boeing, the most heavily weighted stock in its 30-member index.
The S&P 500, on the other hand, rose 10.82 points or 0.37% to 2,924.6. Seven of 11 primary sectors reported gains, with Financials, Real Estate, Health, and Technology all rising at least 0.5%.
The Nasdaq outperformed with a 51.48 point or 0.65% jump to 7,961.45.
All eyes are fixed on President Trump as he attends the weekend G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan.
More important than the G-20 meeting itself is Trump’s face-to-face with Chinese President Xi Jinping. This will be their first meeting since last month’s sudden meltdown in trade negotiations, and analysts view it as a critical step toward ending a trade war that has roiled the global stock market.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Xi will present Trump with a list of negotiating conditions the US must meet before the two economic leviathans sign a trade deal. The terms are steep, including reversing its Huawei blacklist, removing punitive tariffs, and halting its efforts to pressure China to buy more US goods.
The South China Morning Post reports that Trump has already agreed to delay $300 billion worth of new tariffs on Chinese imports. That, the SCMP said, was “Xi Jinping’s price for holding this week’s meeting with him.”
The Dow had climbed on Wednesday on rumors that Trump would suspend those tariffs, though the stock market later slipped into decline and the DJIA closed with a slight loss of 11.4 points.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has been playing up the odds of a full trade deal, even going so far as to forecast that Trump and Xi could put pen to paper by the end of the year.
However, a Bloomberg survey of economists found that most experts expect the US and China to either sign a partial trade deal or agree to maintain the status quo.
Chinese officials continue to maintain a hardline stance in advance of the Trump-Xi meeting.
“We urge the U.S. to immediately cancel its pressure and sanction measures on Huawei and other Chinese companies, and push for the stable and healthy development of China-U.S. trade relations,” Gao Feng, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, said in Mandarin, per CNBC.
Trump, meanwhile, appears to have already shifted his scrutiny toward another Asian trading partner: India.
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