U.S. Stocks Slip as Materials, Industrial Sectors Fall

7 Comments By Riva Gold and Riva Gold The Wall Street Journal Biography Akane Otani Akane Otani The Wall Street Journal Biography Updated Sept. 4, 2018 5:41 p.m. ET U.S. stocks lose ground Dollar on course for fifth straight advance Materials, industrials sectors decline

U.S. stocks began September with declines as investors looked ahead to a busy week of trade negotiations and economic data.

Stocks drifted lower shortly after the opening bell, then pared declines in the final hours of trading, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average erasing nearly all of its losses for the day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 12.34 points, or less than 0.1%, to 25952.48, notching its third consecutive loss. The index earlier fell as much as 159 points. The S&P 500 shed 4.80 points, or 0.2%, to 2896.72, and the Nasdaq Composite lost 18.29 points, or 0.2%, to 8091.25.

Activity was relatively muted as trading resumed following the Labor Day holiday.

Analysts said they expect trade to remain in focus this week, with talks over the North American Free Trade Agreement slated to resume Wednesday. President Trump’s weekend threats to leave Canada out of a new Nafta kept stocks in Europe and Asia subdued on Monday.

The outcome of Nafta talks “will give us a hint of whether these trade conflicts are more and more concentrated [on China], or whether there is still a global element,” said Witold Bahrke, a senior macro strategist at Nordea Asset Management, adding that if those tensions are limited to the U.S.

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