S&P 500, Nasdaq Close at Records; Dow Slips on Reshuffle

Consumer confidence in the U.S. in August drops to the lowest level since 2014.

Stocks ended mixed Tuesday as consumer confidence in the U.S. dropped to the lowest level since 2014 and the U.S. and China made progress in their trade pact.

Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite indexes ended at records, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped following the announcement of a reshuffle of its components. 

The S&P 500 gained 12.34, or 0.4%, to end at 3,443.62. The Nasdaq rose 86.75, or 0.8%, to end at 11,466.47. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 60.02, or 0.2%, to end at 28,248.44. 

The confidence index from the Conference Board fell in August to 84.8 from a revised 91.7 in July, and came in below the previous pandemic low of 85.7 in April, on consumer worries about the economy and the employment picture.

The U.S. and China reaffirmed their commitment to the phase one trade agreement between the world's two largest economies.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He spoke for the first time since early May amid rising tensions between Washington and Beijing over such matters as Hong Kong, tech security and the coronavirus pandemic. The parties originally had been scheduled to speak Aug. 15 as part of a six-month review since the agreement went into effect in mid-February.

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“Both sides see progress and are committed to taking the steps necessary to ensure the success of the agreement,” the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said in a statement.

U.K. drugmaker AstraZeneca  (AZN) - Get Astrazeneca PLC Sponsored ADR Report said Tuesday it has begun testing an antibody treatment for the prevention and treatment of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Global oil prices were mixed, with U.S. crude holding steady despite about 80% of Gulf-region output coming offline ahead of hurricane Laura, set to hit the area over the next 48 hours.

West Texas Intermediate crude contracts for October delivery, the new U.S. benchmark, rose 1.74% to $43.36 a barrel.

Salesforce.com  (CRM) - Get salesforce.com, inc. Report, Amgen  (AMGN) - Get Amgen Inc. Report and Honeywell  (HON) - Get Honeywell International Inc. (HON) Report rose sharply Tuesday after an announcement the stocks would be added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average next week.  

The stocks will be added to the blue-chip index before the market opens on Monday.

Shares of ExxonMobil XOM, Pfizer PFE and Raytheon RTX, which are being dropped from the Dow, all fell.