Stocks were little changed on Thursday after news that a trade meeting between President Donald Trump and his Chinese President Xi Jinping will reportedly be pushed back.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded just 6 points higher, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite also chopped around the flatline.
Bloomberg News reported China and the U.S. are trying to push back a meeting between the countries’ two leaders from late March to April at the earliest. This comes after Trump said he was in no rush to form an agreement. Bloomberg’s report comes after China’s industrial output expanded at its slowest rate in 17 years.
Investors expected the two leaders to meet at Mar-a-Lago later this month as both sides claimed progress was being made on trade negotiations.
The two countries are still expected to reach a deal, but optimism around U.S.-China trade negotiations is “fading,” said Jason Pride, chief investment officer of private wealth at Glenmede. “The prospect for an imminent deal, which the market appeared to have priced in, has waned in the short-run.”
Apple shares rose more than 0.8 percent after Cowen initiated coverage of the company with an outperform rating and a $220 price target. Cowen cited potential long-term upside from Apple’s services business.
Snap, meanwhile, rallied more than 7 percent after BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield — a longtime skeptic of the social media company — upgraded the stock to buy for the first time. “Performance advertisers are laser focused on return on investment and spend (and spend more) where they see a compelling return,” he said, noting the stock could rise 50 percent in the next 12 months.
The S&P 500 tech sector has been on fire this week, rallying more than 3 percent through Wednesday’s close. It also became the best-performing sector year to date.
“This is a move to the upside after such dramatic move to the downside in late December,” said Jeff Zipper, managing director of investments at U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management. “Valuations are to the point where they’re not extended, so technology is an area we still like.”
Elsewhere, General Electric seesawed after the industrial giant issued weaker-than-expected earnings guidance for 2019. The stock initially fell around 4 percent in the premarket before turning around to trade 2.7 percent higher.