NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks finished slightly higher on Thursday (Dec 5) following a choppy session that avoided the big swings from earlier in the week on trade-oriented headlines.
US and Chinese negotiators are working to finalise a preliminary trade deal announced in October that would block new tariffs expected to take effect this month. Officials have sent mixed signals on the talks, sending shares gyrating.
Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities, described Thursday's session as "pretty fair and balanced" after the market's "Pavlovian" moves in recent days on trade news.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 28.01 points (0.10 per cent) at 27,677.79.
The broad-based S&P 500 added 4.67 points (0.15 per cent) at 3,117.43, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 4.03 points (0.05 per cent) to 8,570.70.
A fairly heavy week of economic reports is set to culminate Friday with the government jobs report for November.
Analysts expect the US added 182,000 jobs last month. The report will provide a key reading on labor trends heading into a Federal Reserve meeting next week.
Among individual companies, United Airlines dipped 0.4 per cent as the carrier announced that Oscar Munoz would step down as chief executive and be replaced by President Scott Kirby.
Petroleum-linked shares retreated as major oil exporting countries at an OPEC meeting in Vienna weighed a plan for deeper cuts to boost prices. Oil prices had rallied Wednesday in anticipation of bigger cuts.