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Stocks - Wall Street Flat as U.S-Iranian Tensions Counter Trade Talk Progress

Investing.com - Wall Street was flat on Monday as tensions with Iran countered news of trade talk progress.

China confirmed that President Xi Jinping will meet with U.S. President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 summit. While it's uncertain if a deal will be reached, both sides have resumed trade talks ahead of the meeting.

The S&P 500 inched down 0.7 points by 9:53 AM ET (13:53 GMT). The Dow was up 60 points and tech-heavy Nasdaq composite fell 5 points.

“Markets are generally optimistic about the fact that both sides are continuing to meet, talk, discuss and debate tariffs, and so there’s still the potential for progress,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab.

“Don’t think markets are expecting a deal, but at least as long as there’s dialogue, there’s hope for progress.”

Still, stocks were kept in check by rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran, with more sanctions against Tehran expected to be announced on Monday.

Last week President Donald Trump ordered and then called off a military strike in response to Iran shooting down an unmanned U.S. drone.

Shares of Boeing (NYSE:BA), which is sensitive to trade issues, rose 0.7%, while chipmaker Micron (NASDAQ:MU) gained 1.2% and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) rose 1.2%

Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR) surged 14.4% after casino operator Eldorado Resorts (NASDAQ:ERI) agreed to merge with it in a cash and stock deal that valued Caesars at about $17.3 billion including debt. Eldorado fell 9.1%.

Elsewhere, Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) slumped 1%, while Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) slipped 0.6% and Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) was down 7.6%.

Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG) fell 4.2% after Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) said its acquisition of the drugmaker was expected to close at the end of 2019 or beginning 2020, compared to earlier expectations of the deal closing in the third quarter.

In commodities, crude oil rose 0.1% to $57.45 a barrel. Gold futures gained 0.7% to $1,410.50 a troy ounce, while the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, fell 0.1% to 95.623.

-- Reuters contributed to this report.

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