NEW YORK, New York - U.S. stock markets made minor gains on Thursday as speculation over the outcome of trade talks between the U.S. and China held center-stage.
Markets are waiting to see if China can avoid U.S.-planned tariffs scheduled to commence on 15 December.
"Investors are trying to calibrate things," Matthew Keator, managing partner in the Keator Group, told the Reuters Thomson news agency Thursday. "The markets are going to toggle up and down until we see what happens on Dec. 15th to get some sort of clarity in terms of how to move forward in the near term."
"The market has become desensitized a bit to the partisanship that's been going on," he said, while adding that "uncertainty is not something the market enjoys."
At the close of trading Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was ahead 28.01 points, or 0.1%, at 27,677.79.
The Standard and Poor's 500 added 4.67 points, or 0.15%, to 3,117.43.
The Nasdaq Composite climbed 4.03 points, or 0.05%, to 8,570.70.
The U,S. dollar continued to lose ground. The euro hurdled the crucial 1.1100 mark to trade at 1.1104 around the New York close Thursday.
The British pound strengthened to 1.3159. The Japanese yen nudged up to 108.71. The Swiss franc firmed to 0.9869.
The Cnaadian dollar rose to 1.3175, while the New Zealand dollar gained to 0.6545.
The Australian dollar was steady at 0.6832.
Overseas, the FTSE 100 in London dropped 0.70%. The German Dax declined 0.65%. The Paris-based CAC 40 added 0.03%.
On Asian markets, in Japan the Nikkei 225 rose 164.86 points or 0.71% to 23,300.09.
The Australian All Ordinaries jumped 76.70 points or 1.14% to 6,791.10.