Stocks struggle for direction as U.S.-China trade talks intensify

Stocks struggled for direction Thursday with the S&P 500’s winning streak at risk as investors continued to monitor trade talks between the U.S. and China which are reportedly in the final stretch.

How are the benchmarks performing?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.44%  rose 98 points, or 0.4%, to 26,316, powered higher by shares of Boeing Inc. BA, +2.57% and Dow Inc. DOW, +4.66%

The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.01% shed 4 points, or 0.2%, to 2,869 after five straight days of gains and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.32% fell 43 points, or 0.5%, to 7,852.

What’s driving the market?

U.S.-China trade negotiations remain in the spotlight. Expectations for Washington and Beijing to resolve differences have been cited as a driver of stock-market gains since late last year. President Donald Trump may announce plans for a summit with China’s president, Xi Jinping as early as Thursday when he meets the country’s vice premier, according to The Wall Street Journal reported.

In a tweet Thursday morning, Trump said the China talks were “moving along nicely” even while taking yet another swipe at the Federal Reserve for raising rates last year.

Despite the unnecessary and destructive actions taken by the Fed, the Economy is looking very strong, the China and USMCA deals are moving along nicely, there is little or no Inflation, and USA optimism is very high!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 4, 2019

See: Trump still livid with Fed despite central bank’s dovish policy shift

At the same time, there are reportedly major hurdles to be overcome regarding U.S. desires to maintain some tariffs on Chinese goods as a means to ensure Chinese adherence to the deal.

New York Fed President John Williams told the Community Bankers Conference in New York that current monetary

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