NEW YORK: Wall Street edged lower on Thursday (Nov 21) despite a reported offer from Beijing for another face-to-face meeting with US trade negotiators.
Major US stock indexes are now on track to finish the week in the red heading into the Thanksgiving holiday week, eroding an extended run of gains driven by hopes the US-China trade war would finally be resolved.
The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 54.80 points (0.20 per cent) to end at 27,766.29.
The broader S&P 500 dropped 4.92 points (0.16 per cent) to 3,103.54.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 20.52 points (0.24 per cent), closing at 8,506.21.
Citing unnamed sources, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that Chinese trade envoy Liu He had invited US trade officials to Beijing for a new round of talks.
US officials are reluctant to make the trip, however, without clear commitments from Beijing addressing key US complaints, according to the report.
President Donald Trump last month announced a partial agreement but efforts to finalise the text appear to have stumbled.
Meanwhile, data on existing home sales in October showed some resilience but leading economic indicators fell.
But Peter Cardillo of Spartan Capital Securities told AFP stocks were not reacting economic data.
"It's very much still tied to the daily rhetoric on the trade war," he said.
But "We don't see a major sell-off," he noted. "That tells me what's happening here is more technical than fundamental."
Macy's sank 2.3 per cent after the department store chain reported a drop in comparable store sales in the third quarter and cut its annual forecasts.
TD Ameritrade soared 16.9 per cent following reports it may be bought by fellow online brokerage Charles Schwab, which gained 7.3 per cent.