The S&P 500 index edged higher on Thursday while the other major averages were mixed as losses in technology stocks dragged down the Nasdaq and gains in Boeing (BA) gave a boost to the Dow. Investors are seeking greater clarity on the trade negotiations taking place between White House officials and a Chinese delegation beyond President Donald Trump's comments that the talks are "going well."
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims dropped 10,000 to 202,000 in the week of March 30, hitting a new 49-year low.
In trade news, President Trump said that the U.S. will place tariffs on cars coming from Mexico into the U.S. if Mexico does not help the U.S. on immigration. The president added that, if the prior plan doesn't work, the U.S. will close the border with Mexico. Additionally, CNBC's Kayla Tausche reported that China and the U.S. have not agreed to a date and place for a Trump/Xi summit.
TOP NEWS: Shares of Tesla (TSLA) fell 8.2% after the company said it delivered approximately 63,000 vehicles in the first quarter, which was 110% more than the same quarter last year, but 31% less than last quarter.
Ethiopia's Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau released its preliminary report on the Boeing 737 Max Jet crash, highlighting flight control problems beginning with the Angle of Attack sensor on the plane. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said the release of the preliminary report of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accident investigation makes it apparent that in both recent crashes involving the 737 Max that the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, known as MCAS, activated in response to erroneous angle of attack information. In his statement, the CEO added that Boeing is nearing completion of a fix and anticipates its "certification and implementation on the 737 MAX fleet worldwide in the weeks ahead."
Amazon (AMZN) shares were in focus after MacKenzie Bezos announced that she has given now ex-husband Jeff Bezos all of her "interests in the Washington Post and Blue Origin, and 75% of our Amazon stock plus voting control" of her shares.
Meanwhile, Snap (SNAP) shares were 1.1% higher after it announced Snap Games, a real-time multiplayer gaming platform featuring original and third-party video games from a number of developers. The company also made several other product announcements as part of the company's first partner summit.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was At Home Group (HOME), which rose almost 8% after Reuters reported that the company is working with Bank of America (BAC) to explore options that include a potential sale of the company. Also higher was RPM (RPM), which gained 3% after reporting quarterly results.
Among the notable losers was Office Depot (ODP), which slid 23.6% after reporting lower-than-expected preliminary revenue for the first quarter. Also lower was Red Robin (RRGB), which fell 1.65% after announcing that CEO Denny Marie Post will retire and guiding for Q1 comparable store sales to fall 3.6%.
INDEXES: The Dow rose 166.50, or 0.64%, to 26,384.63, the Nasdaq lost 3.77, or 0.05%, to 7,891.78, and the S&P 500 advanced 5.99, or 0.21%, to 2,879.39.