Stocks finished mixed Tuesday. The Dow traded in a wide range, gaining as much as 360 points and falling more than 200 points before finishing down 53 points at 24,370. The S&P 500 down less than a point to 2,636 while the Nasdaq Composite added 11 points to 7,031.
The major averages fluctuated as investors weighed political headwinds against positive trade developments. An initial market boost after Chinese officials proposed to lower tariffs on U.S. autos from 40% to 15% was offset by President Trump’s suggestion of a possible government shutdown. On the data front, small business optimism eased in November from historically high levels. A survey on inflation showed producer prices climbed 0.1% in November compared to a 0.6% gain in October. Core PPI increased 2.7% year-over-year in November after a 2.6% clip in October.
Eight of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished higher. Consumer Staples outperformed as Proctor & Gamble climbed 1% to $93.91. Financials and Industrials lagged with Citigroup off 1.5% to $56.22 and Boeing losing 1.3% to $322.03. In corporate news, General Motors rose 0.8% to $34.69 on news of reduced Chinese tariffs. Shares of Pfizer fell 0.9% to $44.01 after being the subject of an analyst downgrade.
Breadth was negative on issues by 4:3 on the NYSE and 3:2 on the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE volume was more than 3.8 billion shares.
Treasuries weakened with the yield on the 10-year note up three basis points to 2.88%. In commodities, WTI crude added 1.4% to $51.72/barrel. COMEX gold lost 0.1% to $1,241.90/ounce amid a stronger dollar.