US stocks are mixed before Trump-Xi trade meeting

NEW YORK — Stocks are wavering Friday 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.

Tech and health care companies are making small gains while internet companies are down. Energy companies slipped as crude oil briefly dropped under $50 a barrel for the first time since October 2017.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index added 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,740 at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 36 points, or 0.1 percent, to 25,303. The Nasdaq composite gained 6 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,279. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks edged down less than 1 point to 1,524.

Stocks have rallied this week after falling to a six-month low last Friday. The S&P 500 is up 1.1 percent this month, but it’s still 6.5 percent away from the all-time high it set in late September. Among other issues, that drop reflects investors’ pessimism that the U.S. and China will resolve their differences without causing damage to the global economy.

The two sides have been sparring for months over technology policy and other trade issues. 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.

THE LEADERS: Tech and health care companies climbed. Chipmaker Intel added 1.9 percent to $48.60 and Nvidia rose 2.9 percent to $161.92. Both companies had slumped on Thursday. IBM jumped

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