U.S. Stock Indexes Finish Mixed Ahead of Trade Talks


The U.S. stock market capped a day of listless trading with modest losses Monday as investors focused on upcoming trade talks between the U.S. and China.

The major stock indexes drifted between small gains and losses for much of the day, though smaller company stocks had their worst day since May. The losses erased some of the market’s solid gains from last week, when the benchmark S&P 500 index closed at an all-time high.

The muted trading came as investors looked ahead to a highly anticipated meeting between the leadership of the U.S. and China later this week. The world’s two largest economies have been embroiled in a trade war that has taken the market on a volatile roller-coaster ride this year and Wall Street is hoping for a deal.

The S&P 500 index slipped 5.11 points, or 0.2%, to 2,945.35. The index is about 0.3% below the record high it set on Thursday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 8.41 points, or less than 0.1%, to 26,727.54. The Nasdaq composite dropped 26.01 points, or 0.3%, to 8,005.70. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies slid 19.54 points, or 1.3%, to 1,530.08, its biggest single-day loss since May 31.

Major indexes in Europe finished mostly lower.

The market notched its third straight weekly gain last week and is on track for a strong monthly rebound from a steep sell-off in May. The major U.S. stock indexes are up more than 7% this month and are holding on to gains of more than 14% for the year.

Health care stocks accounted for a big share of the selling Monday, led by a slide in shares of pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb.

The stock fell after the company said it would divest its blockbuster psoriasis treatment Otezla as part of a push to win regulatory approval for its $74 billion buyout of Celgene. Shares in Bristol-Myers were the biggest decliner in the S&P 500, losing 7.4%. Celgene dropped 5.4%.

Consumer discretionary stocks and banks also helped pull the market lower. Ulta Beauty dropped 2.6% and Capital One Financial dropped 3.1%.

Energy stocks also declined. The sector remains volatile as oil prices fluctuate over concerns about economic growth and rising tensions in the Middle East. Concho Resources fell 3.4%.

Technology companies, consumer goods makers and materials stocks were among the gainers. Western Digital rose 2.5%, Tyson Foods added 1.9% and Newmont Goldcorp gained 2.5%.

Bond prices rose, sending yields lower, as investors shifted money into U.S. bonds as a hedge against a possible downturn in the economy or further escalation in trade tensions. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.02% from 2.06% Friday.

Energy futures finished mixed. Benchmark crude oil rose 47 cents to settle at $57.90 a barrel. Brent crude oil, the international standard, fell 34 cents to close at $64.86 a barrel. Wholesale gasoline fell 1 cent to $1.85 per gallon. Heating oil declined 1 cent to $1.91 per gallon. Natural gas rose 12 cents to $2.30 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold rose $18.20 to $1,414.30 per ounce, silver rose 10 cents to $15.37 per ounce and copper was unchanged at $2.71 per pound.

The dollar fell to 107.32 Japanese yen from 107.41 yen on Friday. The euro strengthened to $1.1401 from $1.369.