Wall Street runs in place as China trade deal drags on

raders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, March 13, 2019.
raders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, March 13, 2019.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street largely spun its wheels on Thursday (March 14) as investors fretted about the slackening momentum in US-China trade negotiations while, British lawmakers voted to delay the exit from the EU.

Shares in US aviation giant Boeing continued to slide, a day after the United States became the last major economy to bar the company's top-selling aircraft from its airspace following Sunday's deadly crash in Ethiopia.

Boeing shares were down 1 per cent at the close, and have lost about 12 per cent this week.

The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average, which is heavily weighted to Boeing, closed the session barely changed at 25,709.94.

The broader S&P 500 dipped a fraction to 2,808.48, while, the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.2 per cent to end at 7,630.91.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said trade talks with China were "moving along very well," however the chances both sides will seal grand bargain this month seem to be slipping.

No date has yet been set for the "signing summit" Trump earlier said was likely to occur at the end of this month.

Peter Cardillo of Spartan Capital told AFP that on trade markets were in a "wait-and-see mode."

"The trade deal seems to be pushed back, it caused some hesitancy," he said.

Apple shares added 1.1 per cent, continuing gains on the back of a recent analyst upgrade.

Embattled engineering giant General Electric announced early Thursday it expected negative cash flow of as much as US$2 billion (S$2.7 billion) from its core industrial segment this year, setting up another year of lower profits. That bad news however drove the stock up 2.8 per cent.

Drug maker Johnson & Johnson fell 1 per cent a day after a California jury became the latest to award millions in damages to plaintiff who said the company's baby powder had given her terminal cancer.

Facebook dropped 1.9 per cent following New York Times reporting that its data deals with major technology companies were under criminal investigation.