Wall Street flat as trade tensions mute earnings optimism

Dow down 200 emerging markets crashing on US-Turkey geopolitical concerns

Energy weighs on the S&P 500 on Thursday. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 3.46 points, or 0.04 percent, to 7,891.78. Tech shares also fell as Facebook, Alphabet and Amazon all declined.

The index is just 1 percent shy of a record it hit on January 26 as an estimated 24 percent jump in earnings from S&P companies testified to the strength of the world's biggest economy and corporate sector.

The S&P index recorded 25 new 52-week highs and TWO new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 85 new highs and 51 new lows.

The technology sector has been at the centre of a sharp recovery in USA stocks since a market rout in February.

Markets in Europe were also turbulent with Germany's DAX falling two percent, French CAC 40 falling nearly two percent, and Britain's FTSE 100 declining 0.8 percent. In corporate news, shares of Dropbox Inc. were lower after a second-quarter earnings report, which also included news that Chief Operating Officer Dennis Woodside was stepping down and a post-IPO lockup on shares would expire earlier than previously planned.

The S&P 500 is up 13.23 points, or 0.5 per cent.

Tesla's shorters play the long game against Musk
He said that would allow Tesla to "operate at its best, free from as much distraction and short-term thinking as possible". It's also possible Musk has some unconventional plan that would take Tesla private without using traditional sources .

At 9:53 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 38.77 points, or 0.15 percent, at 25,590.14, the S&P 500 was down 2.83 points, or 0.10 percent, at 2,855.62 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 7.72 points, or 0.10 percent, at 7,875.95.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting that a strong economy was helping the labor market counter ongoing trade tensions.

Rite Aid fell 9.5 percent and was the most actively traded stock after the drug store chain and USA grocer Albertsons Cos agreed to terminate their merger agreement.

Meanwhile, concerns over escalating trade conflict between the US and China weighed on the trade-sensitive S&P 500 Industrials Index, which ended up losing 0.57% on the day.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.55-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.20-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq. That compares with the 6.3 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.

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