Stocks waver before trade meeting; oil prices fall again

NEW YORK — Stocks are wobbling ahead of the highly-anticipating trade meeting between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping of China. Investors have long hoped the two will use their meeting at the Group of 20 summit to start resolving the trade dispute between the two countries. Energy companies sank as crude oil dropped under $50 a barrel for the first time since September 2017.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index added 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,740 at 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 20 points, or 0.1 percent, to 25,318. The Nasdaq composite gained 4 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,277. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks edged up 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,526.

Stocks have rallied this week after falling to a six-month low last Friday. The S&P 500 is up 1 percent this month, but it’s still 6.5 percent away from the all-time high it set in late September. While the U.S. and China have been sparring for months over technology policy and other trade issues, in the last two months investors have become more pessimistic that the two sides will be able to resolve their differences without causing damage to the global economy.

The U.S. has announced tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports so far, with the tax rate on many products set to rise Jan. 1, while China is taxing $110 billion in U.S. goods. Wall Street is concerned that the lingering questions about tariffs and other trade issues will keep businesses from spending money.

UNWANTED GUEST: Marriott said the information of as many as 500 million guests at Starwood hotels has been compromised by a data breach that started in 2014 and September 2018. The company said the credit card information of some

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