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US stocks close little changed after Trump-Kim summit 

  • Stocks held steady Tuesday after President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un sign an agreement aimed at establishing a "peace regime" on the Korean peninsula.
  • The Dow Jones industrial average finished slightly lower, weighed down by losses in Travelers Companies and Goldman Sachs while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite closed fractionally higher.
  • AT&T shares rose ahead of a U.S. District Court decision on whether to permit its $85 billion deal for Time Warner.

U.S. stocks closed little changed Tuesday after President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un signed an agreement aimed at establishing a "peace regime" on the Korean peninsula and better relations between the two states.

Lack of detail in the agreement about the path to denuclearization on the peninsula kept the market's moves in check throughout the day.

The Dow Jones industrial average finished 1.6 points lower at 25,320.73, weighed down by losses in Travelers Companies and Goldman Sachs. The S&P 500 closed 0.17 percent higher to 2,786.85 helped by utilities, which ended the day 1.3 percent higher.

The Nasdaq composite closed 0.57 percent higher at 7,703.79 thanks to upticks in Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet.

"I don't think there's any surprises here, which is why the markets aren't reacting that much," said Paul Tudor Jones, the famed and reclusive hedge fund manager who called the October 1987 market crash. "We've been trading it the past 12 months leading up to this point so this is semi-anticlimactic."

However, Tudor Jones added that a big rally in stocks was coming later this year.

Trump said the sanctions will remain on Pyongyang until "the menace of nuclear weapons" is gone. Japan's Nikkei 225 finished 0.33 percent higher on hopes for greater peace in the region.

AT&T shares ended the trading day 0.5 percent higher ahead of U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon's decision on whether to permit its $85 billion deal for Time Warner. While the government or AT&T could appeal Leon's decision, the ruling will have far-reaching implications for dealmaking across the telecommunications and media world.

Several other players in the industries, including Twenty-First Century Fox and Disney, are actively pursuing deals of their own; others, like Verizon, could interpret the ruling as a go-ahead to buy a large content company to compete with AT&T.

Asked to comment on movement in equity markets, Tudor Jones said he believes the U.S. stocks will rally near the end of this year.

"I think we'll see rates move significantly higher beginning some time late third quarter, early fourth quarter," Tudor Jones told Andrew Ross Sorkin. "And I think the stock market also has the ability to go a lot higher at the end of the year. ... I can see things getting crazy particularly at year-end after the midterm elections ... to the upside."

Investors are also awaiting the culmination of the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day meeting, set to conclude on Wednesday.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell and his colleagues are expected to announce a quarter-point increase in interest rates as the central bank seeks to normalize monetary policy with the economy showing signs of health.

Closely watched consumer pricing data, often viewed as an inflation barometer, increased 2.8 percent in the 12 months through May, the biggest advance since February 2012, after rising 2.5 percent in April.

A slowdown in the climb of gasoline prices helped dampen the movement upward, though core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, also rose 0.2 percent. The year-over-year increase in core CPI is now 2.2 percent.

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shake hands during their summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018.
Anthony Wallace | Pool | Reuters
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shake hands during their summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018.

"It does seem as though this trend of low inflation is evolving a little," said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist for State Street Global Advisors. "The economic data has been good, but in order to hike rates a fourth time this year, you're going to have to see a big pick-up in economic growth."

U.S. Treasurys yields rose following the report, with the benchmark 10-year note rate at 2.966 percent. The U.S. dollar index, which compares the greenback against a host of foreign currencies, rose 0.25 percent.

"What the market wants to know regarding the Fed is whether they want to see a fourth rate hike, do they even see it as a possibility," said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial. "There are those who suggest the economy will gain momentum, but there are those who think the economy is not strong enough."

"The point is every time we have rate hikes, emerging markets come under pressure," Krosby said. "It reminds me of an old trading floor adage: When rates rise, something always breaks."

While U.S. markets have remained comparatively calm over the past two weeks, stricter monetary policy from the Fed, as well as more hawkish commentary from the ECB, appeared to stress certain debt-heavy economies like those of Italy and Brazil.

The ECB will hold its policy meeting on Thursday. The institution's chief economist, Peter Praet, said last week that the central bank will discuss how it will wind down its bond-buying program at the meeting, a move that could affect rates worldwide.

Concerns about global credit contagion weighed on financial stocks two weeks ago after a populist rift in Italy threatened to prevent the country from forming a government. The developments spurred dormant fears concerning the stability of the euro zone and default risk concerning Italy's €2.3 trillion ($2.68 trillion) in debt.

CNBC's Everett Rosenfeld, Nyshka Chandran, Tae Kim, and Alex Sherman contributed to this report.