Wall Street pauses near record levels awaiting Fed meeting

Traders Edward Curran (left) and Gregory Rowe work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Traders Edward Curran (left) and Gregory Rowe work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.PHOTO: AP

NEW YORK (AFP) - US stocks swung to a split finish on Friday (Sept 13), closing little changed as investors took a breather following an extended rally driven by hopes for a letup in the US-China trade war.

The three major indices posted their third straight weekly gains, with the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average notching an eighth positive close - its longest winning streak in more than a year.

But after flirting with new records, the results for the day were underwhelming.

The Dow inched up 0.1 per cent to close at 27,219.52, about 140 points below an all-time high set July 15 and short of the high point of the day.

The broader S&P 500 turned negative, falling 0.1 per cent to end at 3,007.39, while the Nasdaq sank 0.2 per cent to finish at 8,176.71.

Ahead of a new round of trade talks next month, China announced on Friday it will exempt American soybeans and pork from its retaliatory tariffs.

Adam Sarhan of 50 Park Investments told AFP the day's subdued trading was a "normal and healthy action after a big rally."

"This is the perfect area for the market to pause before it tries to reach new highs," he said.

"The Fed meets next week and before a big meeting it is normal to see the market pause a little bit. They are waiting for the next big catalyst."

Among individual companies, iPhone maker Apple fell 1.9 per cent after investment bank Goldman Sachs said the company's new streaming service could weigh on earnings.

Meanwhile, bankrupt utility PG&E jumped 10.8 per cent after announcing an US$11 billion (S$15 billion) settlement with insurance companies over its responsibility for deadly California forest fires last year.