The Dow dipped 27.88 points, or 0.10% to close at 27,881.72. The S&P 500 fell 0.11% to end the day at 3,132.52. The Nasdaq Composite declined 0.07% to 8,616.18. Wall Street struggled for direction for most of the session as a key deadline loomed for U.S.-China trade talks.
The South China Morning Post first reported that a deal between China and the U.S. by Sunday was unlikely. That report sent stock futures lower before the open. Sentiment later picked up after The Wall Street Journal said the U.S. planned to delay the implementation of additional tariffs on Chinese goods. However, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said Sunday's tariffs are still on the table. Bottom line, the mixed news around trade prevented investors from taking the market in one definitive direction on Tuesday. Investors will need more clarity on the trade situation before the market can resume its record-setting rally.