Indexes Slip from Record Levels

The S&P 500 inched higher on Thursday to a record close, but persisting worries around U.S-China trade relations and declines in Cisco
Systems and Walmart tempered the excitement around Wall Street.

The Dow Jones Industrials was negative, though fighting to within 1.63 points of breakeven to 27,781.96.

The broad index inched higher 2.59 points to another record close, at 3,096.63

The NASDAQ eked lower 3.08 points to 8,479.02

Equities have been on a tear lately amid renewed hope that both sides will strike some sort of trade deal. The Dow has built itself up 3.7%, while the S&P 500 has improved 4.4%, over the past month. The NASDAQ is up more than 5% in that time.

Cisco Systems dropped 7.3% on disappointing guidance while Walmart dropped 0.3% after hitting an all-time high.

Nvidia, Applied Materials and Aurora Cannabis are poised to release their latest quarterly figures after market close.

On the data front, weekly jobless claims reached 225,000 last week, topping a Dow Jones estimate of 215,000. Meanwhile, U.S. producer prices had their biggest gain in six months in October.

Talks between the U.S. and China are thought to have hit a snag over agricultural purchases. The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Beijing is resisting requests from the White House to curb tech transfers as well as enforcement mechanisms. China is also reportedly wary about committing to specific farm purchases from the U.S.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testified before the House Budget Committee on the economic outlook, saying: "There’s nothing that’s really booming that would want to bust. In other words, it’s a pretty sustainable picture."

Prices for the 10-Year U.S. Treasury gained sharply, lowering yields to 1.81% from Wednesday’s 1.89%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions

Oil prices gave back 12 cents to $57.00 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices tacked on $9.80 to $1,473.10 U.S. an ounce.