The major averages finished basically unchanged as the S&P 500 once again failed to overtake its February record highs. Traders also pored over mixed economic data and looked to Washington for clues on further coronavirus stimulus. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 34 points to finish at 27,931. The S&P 500 lost less than 0.1% to finish at 3,372 while the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.21% to end the day at 11,019.
Big Tech came under modest pressure in late-day trading as shares of Amazon, Alphabet and Apple shares dropped 0.41%, 0.79% and 0.09%, respectively.
Stocks that would benefit most from economic reopening, however, helped offset some of the losses. United Airlines, Delta and Southwest were each up at least 0.5%. Carnival Corp and Norwegian Cruise Line rose 1.6% and 2.6%, respectively. Nordstrom shares advanced more than 2%.
The major stock indexes all clinched weekly gains despite Friday's muted trading action. The S&P 500 added 0.64% for the week, its third straight weekly gain. The Dow advanced 1.8% this week. The Nasdaq, the relative laggard, climbed less than 0.1% since last Friday's close.
The S&P 500 was also just 0.6% below its intraday record high. The broader market index has traded above its record closing high several times this week but has fallen short of the milestone.
In Washington, lawmakers seem unable to move forward with a coronavirus stimulus bill. This could drag on for weeks as the Senate is in recess until after Labor Day and House members have already left for the rest of the month.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has said she will not restart talks with Republicans on the matter until they increase their aid offer by $1 trillion. White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow also told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" that the administration and Democrats were at a "stalemate."
Separately, Reuters reported that Saturday's trade talks between U.S. and China have been delayed due to a scheduling conflict, but both sides are still expected to recommit to a deal. China reportedly increased purchases of U.S. oil shipments.
On the corporate front, McKesson rose 4% after partnering with the U.S. government for COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Applied Materials rose 3.9% after providing positive quarterly results and upbeat guidance. Tesla rose 1.8% on an upgrade.
Most U.S. Treasuries finished slightly higher. The 2-yr yield declined three basis points to 0.13%, and the 10-yr yield declined one basis point to 0.71%. The U.S. Dollar Index declined 0.3% to 93.10. WTI crude futures declined 0.5%, or $0.21, to $42.05/bbl.
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