* Trump-Xi meeting set for Thursday and Friday
* Nvidia top drag on S&P and Nasdaq after rating cut
* Energy shares move up as oil nears 1-month high
* Dow up 0.12 pct, S&P and Nasdaq little changed
(Updates to early afternoon)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
April 4 U.S. stocks were little changed on
Tuesday, trading in a tight range, as investors fretted over the
ability of President Donald Trump to deliver on his policy
plans, and ahead of his potentially tense meeting with Chinese
President Xi Jinping.
The industrial and material stocks got a boost after Trump
said the U.S. infrastructure bill may top $1 trillion and that
his administration was working on a major "haircut" on the
Dodd-Frank banking regulation, rekindling some of his campaign
But, the gains were neither sufficient or last long enough
to offset a drop in financials and technology stocks.
The market rally that was sparked by Trump's pro-business
policy plans has cooled of late, following legislative setbacks
that led investors to question whether the president would be
able to deliver on his promises.
Adding to investor nervousness is Trump's upcoming meeting
with Xi, one which the U.S. president expects "will be a very
difficult one," according to his tweet last week. He has held
out the possibility of using trade as a lever to secure China's
cooperation against North Korea at the Thursday-Friday meeting.
At 12:44 p.m. ET (1644 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial
Average was up 25.32 points, or 0.12 percent, at
20,675.53, the S&P 500 was down 1.25 points, or 0.05
percent, at 2,357.59 and the Nasdaq Composite was down
1.36 points, or 0.02 percent, at 5,893.32.
"We will probably have a period of consolidation here as the
realism sets in ... it's likely that we are going to see some
choppy sideways trading," said Jason Pride, director of
investment strategy at Glenmede in Philadelphia.
"Investors are having to go through a period of realism
here, which is a transition away from some of the policy-related
hype that surrounded the administration to the reality that much
of what was proposed was either not going to make it or be a
watered down version or be greatly delayed," he said.
Of the 11 major S&P sectors, four were lower, two gained and
the rest were little changed. The energy index was up
0.4 percent, helped by higher oil prices.
The biggest drag on the S&P and the Nasdaq was Nvidia
, which dropped 5.6 percent to $102.24 after Pacific
Crest downgraded the chipmaker's stock.
Staples was the biggest percentage gainer on the
S&P with a 10 percent gain. Reuters reported that the office
supplies retailer was exploring a sale.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,542
to 1,277. On the Nasdaq, 1,489 issues fell and 1,242 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed six 52-week highs and six lows,
while the Nasdaq recorded 29 highs and 34 lows.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by