Friday, September 20, 2019
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Market Digest Online FRIDAY, SEPT. 20, 2019: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up a 100-point gain and the S&P 500 held steady just under its all-time high on Thursday as investors checked their optimism about renewed U.S.-China trade talks.

The Dow finished the day down 52.29 points at 27,094.79 as gains in Microsoft and UnitedHealth weren’t enough to offset losses in Boeing and Walt Disney. The S&P 500 closed around flatline at 3,006.82 thanks to gains in health-care and materials stocks and weakness in industrials and energy. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained less than 0.1% to close at 8,182.88.

By the closing bell, the S&P 500 was 0.7% away from its record high despite a lackluster week on Wall Street. The Dow and S&P 500 are down 0.4% and 0.02% for the week, respectively.

Equities erased their more robust morning gains after a state-backed Chinese media report said that known China hawk and Trump advisor Michael Pillsbury warned the U.S. is ready to escalate the trade war if a deal isn't struck soon.

Despite the latest reports, some on Wall Street were optimistic about a new round of face-to-face talks between Chinese and American officials that began on Thursday. The two-day negotiations are aimed at preparing for high-level talks in early October that will determine whether Washington and Beijing can progress toward a deal or resume the imposition of higher tariffs.

U.S. negotiators including White House economic advisor Peter Navarro and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have both expressed modest optimism for forthcoming rounds of talks between the world’s two largest economies following a volatile August.

Software giant Microsoft, meanwhile, climbed 1.8% to an all-time high after announcing Wednesday evening that it authorized another $40 billion for share buybacks and will raise its quarterly dividend by 5 cents to 51 cents per share. The company is worth more than $1 trillion and is currently the most valuable company public company in the United States.

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