Stocks finished mixed Tuesday. The Dow slipped 26 points to 25,887 while the S&P 500 was off less than a point to 2,832. The Nasdaq Composite added 9 points to 7,723.
The major averages pared early session gains and finished little changed as investors digested conflicting trade reports. One update indicated that the U.S. and China were in final negotiations while an additional release suggested the two sides remained at an impasse on several key issues. The Federal Reserve also garnered an outsized attention during the session as policy makers are expected to leave interest rates unchanged at the conclusion of their meeting on Wednesday afternoon. On the data front, U.S. factory orders increased 0.1% in January, below consensus estimates of 0.3%. A separate survey showed the final January reading of durable goods orders gained 0.3%.
Eight of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished in negative territory with the defensive Utilities pacing the decline. Financials also underperformed due to weakness in regional bank stocks. Chipmakers bucked the downtrend as NVIDIA added 4.0% to $175.71 while Advanced Micro Devices jumped 11.8% to $26.00. The Healthcare group also helped offset broader sector weakness as Pfizer advanced 1.2% to $42.30 and DaVita gained 3.5% to $53.91.
Breadth was negative on issues by roughly 3:2 on both the NYSE and Nasdaq. Composite NYSE Volume totaled more than 2.8 billion shares.
Treasuries weakened with the yield on the 10-year note up one basis point to 2.61%. In commodities, NYMEX WTI crude lost 0.4% to $58.87/barrel. COMEX gold advanced 0.4% to $1,306.40/ounce amid a weaker dollar.