Stocks close mixed as legal worries in Washington hang over historic day on Wall Street

Stocks closed mixed Wednesday even as the S&P 500 hit its 3,453rd day without a major correction, marking the longest bull market in history. Strong earnings reports were unable to calm nerves surrounding a one-two legal punch to the White House that implicated President Donald Trump. The Federal Reserve signaled it would hike rates next month.

Here’s the scoreboard:

Dow Jones industrial average: 25,733.94 −88.35 (-0.34%)

S&P 500: 2,863.56 +0.60 (+0.021%)

Nasdaq Composite: 7,889.10 +29.92 (+0.38%)

  1. Washington and Beijing are back at the negotiating table for the first time since June. But some doubt much progress will be made at the mid-level talks in Washington, which come hours before the US enacts tariffs on roughly $16 billion worth of Chinese goods.
  2. The US and Mexico are reportedly close to resolving key NAFTA issues. The Trump administration is prepared to announce a breakthrough with Mexico as soon as Thursday, POLITICO reports, bringing the 2015 pact one step closer to modernization.
  3. The Federal Reserve looks poised to raise the benchmark interest rate in September. Central bankers cited risks surrounding trade uncertainty at their most recent gathering, Fed minutes showed, but maintained a rate hike would be appropriate “soon” if the economy remains on track.
  4. Oil prices rallied to a two-week high after data showed a larger-than-expected drawdown in US crude inventories last week. That added to existing supply concerns surrounding the Trump administration’s coming sanctions against Iran, which aim to take all Iranian barrels off the market by November.
  5. Earnings season rolls on. Target beat on both top and bottom lines, posting its largest sales growth in more than a decade. Home improvement giant Lowe’s also beat Wall Street’s expectations.

And a look at the upcoming economic calendar:

  • Manufacturing data are out in the eurozone.
  • The European Central Bank releases its July meeting minutes.
  • Alibaba, HP and Gap report earnings.