Stocks Opened Little Changed amid Uncertainty over U.S.-China Trade Talks

U.S. stocks struggled for direction at open on Thursday, following reports that President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping are set to push back a meeting investors had hoped would produce a U.S.-China trade deal. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately rose 19.92 points, or 0.08%, to 25,722.81. The S&P 500 was down 1.61 points, or 0.06%, to 2,809.31. The Nasdaq Composite fell 7.04 points, or 0.09%, to 7,636.37.

Crude-oil futures on Thursday turned negative amid reports that a trade meeting between President Donald Trump and China President Xi Jinping may be delayed. April West Texas Intermediate crude gave up 20 cents, or 0.3%, to trade at $58.06 a barrel. May Brent crude edged 4 cents, or less than 0.1%, higher to $67.59 a barrel.

A meeting between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping to sign an agreement to end their trade war won’t occur this month and is more likely to happen in April at the earliest.

The number of jobless workers who applied for unemployment benefits last week rose to a one-month high, but the level of layoffs in the U.S. remained extremely low. Initial jobless claims rose by 6,000 to 229,000 in the seven days ended March 9, the government said Thursday.

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