Investing.com - Wall Street closed mixed Thursday, as a rally in chip stocks helped offset some investor worries about a lack of progress on U.S.-China trade talks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.09% and the S&P 500 gained 0.14%. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.68%.
A slew of blowout earnings from chip companies ushered in a sea of green across tech.
The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index rallied 6%, led by chipmaker Xilinx (NASDAQ:XLNX) as its above-consensus earnings and guidance sent its share price soaring more than 18%.
Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX) also delivered a beat on both the top and bottom lines, while Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN) results were mixed.
The sunny spell for semis helped offset fresh concerns over U.S.-China trade.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross offered an update on the progress of U.S.-China trade talks, admitting in an interview with CNBC, that both parties were still "miles and miles" from resolving their differences on trade.
The latest update on trade arrived just days after President Donald Trump touted optimism, insisting that "we're doing very well in our negotiations with China."
Time is running out for both sides to reach an agreement before March 1, after which, in the absence of an agreement, the U.S. could raise duties on imports from China to 25% from 10%.
The months-long trade war has weighed on risk sentiment, with many U.S. businesses flagging the tariffs on imported Chinese goods as a key driver of increased costs, which have compressed margins.
On the domestic front, the partial government shutdown looks set to continue after the Senate rejected rival bills to end the shutdown.
The Democrats' bill aimed to reopen the government without the $5.7 billion President Donald Trump has demanded to build the border wall. The Republicans' measure included funding for the wall and offered some legal protection for immigrants. Neither measure secured the 60 votes needed to pass.
Airlines, meanwhile, caught a bid as investors cheered a above-consensus earnings from Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV), American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) and JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:JBLU), with each ending the day more than 5% higher.
The energy sector rebounded from a slide a day earlier, thanks to rising U.S. oil prices as a surge in domestic crude inventories was offset by hopes U.S. sanctions on Venezuela's crude exports could curb global supplies.
Top S&P 500 Gainers and Losers Today:
Xilinx (NASDAQ:XLNX), Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX) and Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) were among the top S&P 500 gainers for the session.
Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold (NYSE:FCX), McCormick & Company (NYSE:MKC) and Citrix Systems (NASDAQ:CTXS) were among the worst S&P 500 performers of the session.