U.S. equities ended Tuesday's session mostly flat ahead of a key meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained about 39 points with Caterpillar contributing the most gains. The S&P 500 ended the day nearly breakeven, with real estate lagging and energy outperforming. The Nasdaq composite also ended roughly flat on the day.
Xi and Trump will meet Thursday and Friday at Mar-a-Lago. Last week, Trump said via Twitter the meeting would not be easy because "we can't have massive trade deficits … and job losses."
"While the fanatical optimism over Trump's proposed fiscal policies boosting U.S. growth has fueled the phenomenal stock market rally, the rising protectionist fears and concealed concerns over the pro-growth agenda falling short of expectations could catalyze an unexpected selloff," said Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM.
Trade — specifically fair U.S. trade — was one of the Trump's campaign pillars, as he promised the U.S. would renegotiate trade deals he considered to be unfair. The administration has already moved forward to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada.
"Investors have certainly reverted to caution and that aspect of the market is going to be around for a while," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial. "There's a lot happening this quarter and the market has already priced in all the good news."