Investing.com - The Dow closed higher Thursday, despite giving up most of its gains, as optimism over U.S.-China trade faded and weakness in financials weighed.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.29% to 24,597, below its session high of 24,740. The S&P 500 fell 0.06%, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.39%.
Positive sentiment on trade faded, pressuring the broader market, even as a Chinese ministry spokesman touted progress on U.S.-China talks and reportedly said any U.S. trade delegation would be welcome.
The positive sound bite from Beijing on trade comes a day after reports that China could revamp its economic plans to give foreign companies more access to its domestic market.
Defensive corners of the market like consumer staples, and utilities, were in favor, underscoring the weaker sentiment on risk.
Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) led consumer staples higher, rising more than 2% after being upgraded to buy from neutral at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (NYSE:BAC).
Beyond trade, the broader market was hurt by ongoing weakness in financials as bank stocks continued to fall ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting next week, when the central bank is expected to rein in its outlook on rate hikes.
Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) and Citigroup (NYSE:C) ended the day in the red.
Energy, meanwhile, supported the broader market on the back of rise in oil prices on signs tightening crude supply following reports of falling stockpiles at a key delivery hub in Oklahoma.
Losses in industrials, meanwhile, were limited by a rally in General Electric (NYSE:GE) after a long-time critic JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) upgraded its outlook on the conglomerate, citing an improved balance sheet.
General Electric also announced it will launch a new Industrial Internet of Things software company, which would operate as a wholly-owned and independently-run GE business with $1.2 billion in annual software revenue.
In corporate earnings, Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:ADBE) reported after the close Thursday earnings that beat estimates, but revenue was roughly in-line.
Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) shares fell in after-hours as the coffee chain's subdued outlook on longer-term growth offset above-forecast earnings.
In political news, meanwhile, federal prosecutors reportedly launched a probe into whether President Trump's 2017 inauguration misspent funds it raised and also whether donors funded the campaign in exchanged for access to the incoming Trump administration as well as “policy concessions or to influence official administration positions,” The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources.
Top S&P 500 Gainers and Losers Today:
General Electric (NYSE:GE), Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFL), Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB) were among the top S&P 500 gainers for the session.
Monster Beverage (NASDAQ:MNST), Hanesbrands (NYSE:HBI), Under Armour (NYSE:UA) were among the worst S&P 500 performers of the session.