NEW YORK (REUTERS) - The S&P 500 ended flat while the Dow edged down and the Nasdaq closed higher in light trading on Friday (Aug 31) as Canada and the United States concluded trade talks without resolution ahead of the Labour Day weekend.
Capping a low-volume, late-summer week marked by tariff-related volatility, all three major US indexes posted net gains for the period. The indexes were also up for the month of August, with the Nasdaq posting its largest monthly gain since January.
Talks between Canada the United States to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) ended on a sour note as the two sides were unable to reach a deal, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In recent days trade jitters abated as Mexico and the United States reached a bilateral deal, but re-emerged later in the week following a report that US President Donald Trump is prepared to impose tariffs on an additional US$200 billion (S$270 billion) of Chinese imports as soon as next week.
"We may not have a replacement for Nafta as quickly as we thought," said John Toohey, head of equities at USAA in San Antonio. "That initial optimism that existed at the beginning of the week, that good news scenario is off the table."
Amazon.com's shares continued to inch upward, rising 0.5 per cent as investors watch the company close in on its US$1 trillion (S$1.3 trillion) market share milestone.
Apple closed up 1.2 per cent, reaching a new closing high for the fifth straight session.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22.1 points, or 0.09 per cent, to 25,964.82, the S&P 500 gained 0.39 points, or 0.01 per cent, to 2,901.52 and the Nasdaq Composite added 21.17 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 8,109.54.
Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, five closed lower.
Coca-Cola agreed to buy the coffee chain Costa from Britain's Whitbread for US$5.1 billion. Its shares dipped 0.8 per cent.
Tesla had a fifth consecutive decline following news that fund manager BlackRock voted in favour of replacing Elon Musk with an independent chairman.
Gun maker American Outdoor Brands was the top percentage gainer on the Nasdaq. The stock soared 43.6 per cent after its upbeat earnings report. Peer Sturm Ruger & Co shares jumped 7.3 per cent.
Chipotle Mexican Grill shares extended their loss, dipping 1.8 per cent after William Ackman's Pershing Square cut its stake in the burrito chain.
Ford Motor Co dropped 2.3 per cent after scrapping a plan to sell a Chinese-made small vehicle in the United States due to tariff concerns.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.16-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.60-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 34 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 121 new highs and 29 new lows.
Volume on US exchanges was 5.77 billion shares, compared with the 6.08 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.