The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed at record highs on Wednesday.
The Dow (INDU), however, didn’t manage to turn positive, and itclosed down 0.3%, or 79 points.
Caterpillar (CAT) and Boeing (BA) dragged the Dow lower. Caterpillar (CAT) stock closed down 4.5% after missing earnings expectations and cutting its forward guidance. Shares of Boeing (BA) finished 3.1% lower after the company reported a $3.7 billion adjusted loss on the back of the 737 Max crisis.
Stocks had started the session lower because investors are worried about the boy who cried wolf on trade talks between the United States and China.
Early next week, US trade representatives will be heading to China for a next round of trade talks. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said “hopefully we’ll continue to make progress,” during an interview with CNBC.
But the seemingly good news on the trade front left the stock market unimpressed.
“The news is undoubtedly positive for sentiment in the markets but unfortunately, we’ve got excited about this before which may partly explain why the spike in stocks was so short-lived,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a note to investors.
Instead, investors will continue to focus on Friday’s GDP data, and next week’s Federal Reserve meeting.
In Thursday’s economic data, new home sales for June came in below expectations and the Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index dropped to its weakest level since September 2009.
The US dollar, measured by the ICE US Dollar Index, is slightly weaker versus its main rivals. The index was in the red for much of the day but was last little changed at 97.723. This year, the dollar gauge is up 1.6%.
Mnuchin said on CNBC that a strong dollar signified a strong US economy. “I think the dollar is the reserve currency of the world, [and] it’s in our interest to maintain it,” he said.
This is at odds with previous comments from President Donald Trump, who has called the dollar too strong, saying it was hurting the competitiveness of US goods on the global market.