Stocks closed slightly higher on Tuesday as energy shares rebounded from steep losses in the previous session, but mixed messages from the Trump administration regarding trade kept a lid on gains.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 30.31 points to close at 24,283.11, with Apple and Chevron rising 1.2 percent each. The S&P 500 gained 0.2 percent and ended at 2,723.06, as energy rose more than 1 percent. The Nasdaq composite advanced 0.4 percent to 7,561.63 as Netflix rose 3.9 percent, after sliding 6.5 percent on Monday.
General Electric rose sharply on its first day after being booted from the Dow and posted its biggest one-day gain in three years.
"A lot of investors are taking a wait-and-see approach with the confusion around trade policy," said Ryan Nauman, market strategist at Informa Financial Intelligence. But on the other hand, "the fundamentals have been phenomenal. I think all this trade talk is sort of dampening the excitement around the fundamentals."
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a tweet Monday that a report from the Wall Street Journal about the Trump administration planning to curb Chinese investment in U.S. tech was “fake news.” Mnuchin added, however, that those restrictions will apply to “all countries that are trying to steal our technology.”
Later on Monday, Peter Navarro, a trade advisor to President Donald Trump, told CNBC said there were no plans on slapping investment restrictions on China or other countries. He also said the stock market was overreacting to such fears.
However, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders doubled down on Mnuchin’s statement, saying in a press briefing: “As the Secretary said, a statement would go out that targets all countries that are trying to steal our technology, and we expect that to be out soon.”