Indexes trade near flat, pause as trade deal doubts resurface

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks were near unchanged on Friday after President Donald Trump said he has not agreed to a rollback of U.S. tariffs sought by China, fueling doubts about the progress of trade talks between the two countries.

Trump, in remarks to reporters at the White House, poured cold water on the idea of rolling back the tariffs, something that he said Beijing would like him to do. On Thursday, officials from both countries said that the United States and China had agreed to such a deal.

“Markets are getting tired” of the back-and-forth on the trade front, said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Investment Management in Chicago. “It’s gone from the deal is close, to no, it’s not, and we’ve been through this before.”

Helping to boost the S&P 500, Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) gained 3.6% a day after it reported quarterly results that showed it spent less than it had projected on its online streaming service, Disney+. Disney’s popular theme parks and a remake of “The Lion King” lifted earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 27.19 points, or 0.1%, to 27,647.61, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 2.53 points, or 0.08%, to 3,087.71, and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 27.06 points, or 0.32%, to 8,461.57.

Of the 446 S&P 500 companies that have reported results so far, roughly three-quarters have beaten profit estimates, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. The numbers, to some extent, reflect significantly lowered analysts’ forecasts.

Also on Friday, shares of Gap Inc (GPS.N) fell 7% after the apparel retailer said Chief Executive Officer Art Peck would leave the company, a surprise exit in the middle of a restructuring. Gap also slashed its full-year earnings forecast.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.04-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.09-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 23 new 52-week highs and two new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 68 new highs and 80 new lows.

Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch in New York; Additional reporting by Arjun Panchadar and Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler

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