US stocks flat as Washington talks drag on

Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the closing bell, June 21, 2019 in New York. — AFP pic
Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the closing bell, June 21, 2019 in New York. — AFP pic

NEW YORK, Aug 6 — Wall Street stocks were flat early today as talks in Washington over additional stimulus spending dragged on and weekly jobless claims retreated somewhat. 

About 30 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.2 per cent at 27,251.86.

The broad-based S&P 500 was unchanged at 3,327.80, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.1 per cent to 10,992.82.

The number of workers filing first-time jobless claims dropped last week after two weeks of increases, falling to 1.19 million, still an exceptionally high level, the Labor Department reported.

The figures come ahead of Friday’s closely-watched monthly employment report, which will offer the most comprehensive picture yet of the jobs impact of the latest resurgence of coronavirus cases.

Talks were ongoing in Washington on another round of emergency pandemic spending, but Democrats and Republicans remained far apart.

Despite the stalemate, “the market has already convinced itself that the deal is getting done no matter how much Democrats, Republicans and the White House make it sound as if a compromise might not be reached,” said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O’Hare. — AFP

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