Dow sets new intraday high, up 121 points, or 0.4%

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Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq tread water ahead of trade-deal signing

U.S. stock benchmarks on Wednesday opened slightly lower to flat as investors awaited the signing of a partial Sino-American trade pact later in the day, amid a rollout of quarterly corporate earnings results. The hoped for improvement in U.S.-China trade relations might not be immediately achieved though, with key issues left unresolved, including existing tariffs and efforts to impose restrictions on China’s Huawei Technologies Co. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 13 points, or less than 0.1%, at 28.921, the S&P 500 index added less than 0.1% at 3,284 and the Nasdaq Composite Index picked up 0.1% at 9,260. The trade deal is expected to be signed in the White House at 11:30 a.m. Eastern time. In economic news, U.S. wholesale inflation rose 0.1% in December, according to the Labor Department’s producer price index, below the 0.2% rise expected by economists, according to a MarketWatch poll. An account of business conditions in the Fed’s regional districts, known as the Beige Book, is due at 2 p.m. In corporate news, Target Corp. shares were down after the retailer said sales rose 1.4% between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 in stores and through digital channels operating for at least 12 months, but warned that growth for the full quarter, which includes January, would likely come in less than half the 3% to 4% growth it had predicted.

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