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Stocks - Wall Street Flat as Low CPI Neutralizes Trade Tension

Investing.com – U.S. stock market were flat after early trade on Wednesday as President Donald Trump toughened his stance on U.S.-China trade talks, while tame inflation data supported the case for the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates.

The Dow gained 24 points or 0.1% by 9:40 AM ET (13:40 GMT), while the S&P 500 rose 0.8 points or 0.03% and tech-heavy Nasdaq composite lost 10 points or 0.1%.

Consumer inflation data edged up 0.1% in May and was up 1.8% on the year, below expectations for 1.9% and slipping marginally from the Federal Reserve's 2% target.

"We're not seeing much signs of creeping inflation, or at least increasing inflation. That's one of the things that gives the Federal Reserve to think about lowering rates later this year," Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.

Meanwhile, concerns lingered after President Donald Trump said he had no intention of a trade deal with Beijing, absent concessions on five major but unspecified points.The comments appear to reduce the chance of a meaningful de-escalation of the conflict when the two leaders meet at the G20 summit on June 28-29.

"This is a market that would love to see us get back to the negotiating table," Hogan said. "The longer these trade tensions last, the most damage it'll do to the economy, and therefore to earnings."

Technology stocks were among the hardest hit, with Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) falling 0.2%, and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) down 0.1%. Semiconductor company Micron (NASDAQ:MU) slumped 3.4%, while Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) slipped 0.5%.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) surged 2.5% after CEO Elon Musk told shareholders at their annual meeting that the company could have a “record quarter on every level.” Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) meanwhile rallied 12%, recouping a large part of Tuesday's 25% downgrade-induced drop, while Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) was up 0.9%.

In commodities, gold futures rose 0.4% to $1,335.80 a troy ounce, while crude slumped 1.9% to $52.27. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, inched up 0.1% to 96.738.

-Reuters contributed to this report.

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