Stocks erase early losses ahead of U.S-China trade talks

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks stabilized in midday trading after an early morning dip as the U.S. and China prepare for their latest round of trade talks.

Envoys from both nations are expected to meet this week to try and put an end to the dispute that is stunting global economic growth and spooking the stock market.

Consumer product makers, including Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, fared the worst. Industrial stocks moved broadly lower. Ingersoll-Rand fell 1.2%.

Communications stocks made the biggest gains, led by AT&T and Google. ConocoPhillips rose 3% and lifted energy stocks after raising its quarterly dividend.

Technology stocks, including Microsoft and Nvidia, also rose. The sector is particularly sensitive to any news in the trade dispute and the latest round of talks could prompt more volatility.

Utilities and consumer product makers made some of the biggest declines. The sectors are considered safe-play investments that investors favor when they want to reduce risk and stocks to sell off when they have more confidence.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.54% from 1.51%.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 was unchanged as of 12:10 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was also mostly unchanged at 26,577 points. The Nasdaq rose 0.1%.

MARKET NERVES: The market is coming off three straight weekly losses. Investors digested a series of mostly disappointing economic reports last week that showed the U.S.-China trade war is hurting manufacturing and threatening U.S. economic growth. Some of those fears were allayed on Friday when a government jobs report showed that employers are still adding jobs at a healthy clip and that the national unemployment rate dropped to a five-decade low.

Still, last week marked the third weekly loss in a row for the broader market as the trade war takes its toll on confidence.

OVERSEAS: European stocks moved broadly higher. Economic warning signs again flashed after Germany reported that factory orders dropped for a second consecutive month in August. Germany is Europe's largest economy and a gauge of the continent's economic health as investors grow more concerned about a broad slowdown in growth.

Stocks in Asia were mixed and Chinese markets are due to reopen on Tuesday after a weeklong break.

ENGINE PROBLEMS: General Motors has lost nearly 10% of its value since contract negotiations with the now striking United Auto Workers started to falter. The situation has taken another bad turn as negotiations hit a snag over product commitments for U.S. factories.

Workers were warned by United Auto Workers vice president Terry Dittes on September 6 that bargaining was moving slowly. Workers moved to picket lines on September 16, crippling the company's factories and accelerating stock losses.

Despite the labor issues, General Motor's stock is still up 4.3% for the year, though that is far behind competitor Ford's 13.8% annual gain.

FULL PLATE: Fox rose 1.3% after the company settled a dispute with Dish Network over carriage of Fox's local TV stations and cable sports networks. Dish pulled the broadcast network from 17 markets in September

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