Stocks & S&P, Nasdaq See Small Gains After Hitting Highs

Stocks ended basically flat Tuesday as President Donald Trump’s speech did not offer clues on when a China-U.S. trade deal will be signed. The S&P 500 was up 0.16%, or about five points. The Nasdaq Composite and Nasdaq 100 indexes added nearly 0.3%.

The Dow Jones industrials finished unchanged, which is a rare occurence. The Dow had been up as many as 79 points and down as many as 56 points.

The blue chips were held back by weakness in Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT).

The finish was a disappointment for bulls because the S&P 500, Nasdaq and Nasdaq 100 had hit new intraday highs in the morning. The pullback may have been due less to Trump than to investor reluctance to push stocks higher without any firm news.

Tuesday’s key moment, at least according to Briefing.com, came when the S&P 500 hit 3,100 at about 10:40 AM ET (15:40 GMT) — before the president’s New York appearance — and then pulled back. In addition, the S&P’s relative strength index briefly topped 75, a key technical level that traders watch. A reading above 75 is a possible sell signal.

So, expect a lot of focus going forward on whether 3,100 can be decisively breached.

Boeing was off 1.1% after The Wall Street Journal said the company has lost more than 200 orders for 737 MAX jets. The company blamed airline bankruptcies and customers swapping out for other models. The decline trimmed nearly 28 points from the Dow.

On Monday, Boeing said it expects Federal Aviation Administration approval for the troubled jet by the end of December, with planes returning to service by the end of January. Whether that occurs is unclear. Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) has said March is more likely.

Caterpillar’s business is influenced by its prospects in China. So no news from the president set off some selling, which cut an additional 11 points from the blue chips.

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBAWealth Strength IndexAAPL is Extremely Up and trending Up) and Merck (NYSE:MRK) were the Dow leaders. Autodesk (NASDAQ:ADSKWealth Strength IndexAAPL is Extremely Up and trending Up), Facebook (NASDAQ:FBWealth Strength IndexAAPL is Extremely Up and trending Up) and IDEXX Laboratories (NASDAQ:IDXX) were among the Nasdaq 100 leaders.

Disney, up 1.35%, launched its Disney + streaming service Tuesday to compete against Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLXWealth Strength IndexAAPL is Extremely Up and trending Up), Amazon Prime and other services. The Disney service, which costs $6.99 a month, was hit with technical glitches on its first day, which the company blamed on overwhelming demand.

Walgreens was higher after buyout giant KKR said it has approached the drugstore chain about taking the company private.

Healthcare, materials, communication services and technology were the strongest sectors, with real estate and energy the weakest.

Crude oil prices and interest rates moved lower.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FBWealth Strength IndexAAPL is Extremely Up and trending Up), Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLAWealth Strength IndexAAPL is Extremely Up and trending Up), Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals(NASDAQ:REGNWealth Strength IndexAAPL is Extremely Up and trending Up) were among the top S&P 500 performers on Tuesday.

American Airlines (NASDAQ:AALWealth Strength IndexAAPLWealth Strength IndexAAPL is Extremely Up and trending Up is Extremely Up and trending Up), Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), hotel-booking site Booking Holdings (NASDAQ:BKNGWealth Strength IndexAAPL is Extremely Up and trending Up) and Twitter (NYSE:TWTRWealth Strength IndexAAPL is Extremely Up and trending Up) were among the S&P 500’s biggest laggards.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FBWealth Strength IndexAAPL is Extremely Up and trending Up), Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLAWealth Strength IndexAAPL is Extremely Up and trending Up), Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals(NASDAQ:REGNWealth Strength IndexAAPL is Extremely Up and trending Up) were among the top S&P 500 performers on Tuesday.

American Airlines (NASDAQ:AALWealth Strength IndexAAPLWealth Strength IndexAAPL is Extremely Up and trending Up is Extremely Up and trending Up), Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), hotel-booking site Booking Holdings (NASDAQ:BKNGWealth Strength IndexAAPL is Extremely Up and trending Up) and Twitter (NYSE:TWTRWealth Strength IndexAAPL is Extremely Up and trending Up) were among the S&P 500’s biggest laggards.

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