Investing.com – Stocks ended about flat Monday. Shares had recovered from an opening slump, but the rally hit resistance as the S&P 500 neared 3,000.
The S&P 500 finished off very slightly. The Dow Jones industrials ended ahead 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite closed down 0.06%. The S&P 500 finished under 3,000 for a second-straight trading day after seven-straight sessions of closes above 3,000.
Consumer stocks were the bright spot, as well as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), which was up nearly 1% on the day and more than 5% for the month. Apple has gained as excitement over its new iPhone models has grown.
The opening slump, which pushed the Dow down as many as 104 points, appeared to be a continuation of Friday's selloff, which was generated by reports of Chinese trade delegates opting to go home rather than visit farms in Nebraska and Montana. It also reflects economic weakness in Europe, with Germany close to recession.
Athletic apparel maker Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) was a top stock after an upgrade. Nike (NYSE:NKE) also was higher, along with a host of retail stocks including Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA), Walmart (NYSE:WMT), Nordstrom Inc (NYSE:JWN), Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST), Target (NYSE:TGT) and Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR).
Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) hit a new high during the session. Staples stocks like McDonaldâ€™s (NYSE:MCD) and Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL) were also higher.
Gold futures closed up $16.40 to $1,531.50 and West Texas Intermediate crude rose 55 cents to $58.64 a barrell. Brent crude for November delivery rose 49 cents to $64.77 a barrel.
Interest rates moved lower, with the 10-Year Treasury yield falling to 1.715% from Friday's 1.753%.
The major averages are still in a holding pattern, roughly 1% to 2% below their 52-week highs reached in July, frustrating bulls aching to see new highs.
But the uncertainty over U.S.-China trade negotiations is weighing on markets. Still, the S&P 500 is up 2.2% in September, with Dow up 2.1% and the Nasdaq up 1.9%.
Consumer staples, consumer discretionary and real estate stocks were among the top sectors on the day. Telecom, healthcare and communications services were among the weakest sectors.
Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA), Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP), telecommunications company CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) and real-estate-investment-trust Equinix (NASDAQ:EQIX) were among the top S&P 500 performers on the day.
Biopharma company Incyte (NASDAQ:INCY), Take-Two Interactive Software (NASDAQ:TTWO), medical-equipment company Abiomed (NASDAQ:ABMD) and food-processing giant ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG) were among the weakest S&P 500 performers.