US stock markets were almost flat in early trading, with dovish comments from the Fed and the US interest rate hike already priced in, while President Trump faces an awkward meeting at the White House with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The Dow was recently down 0.02% at 20,929.76, the S&P 500 drifted 0.06% to 2,380.05 and the Nasdaq inched 0.07% lower at 5,896.66.
RISERS AND FALLERS
McDonald's and Boeing were the Dow's standout early risers, up 1.2% and 0.8%, respectively. Goldman Sachs led to the downside, with its shares off by 1%, closely followed by American Express, IBM and JPMorgan Chase.
At 2:45pm (GMT), commodity prices were rising across the board. WTI crude was up 0.25% at $48.87/bbl, Brent was up 0.25% at $51.87/bbl and gold was up by 0.26% at $1,230/oz.
US industrial production was unchanged in February following a 0.1% decrease in January and capacity utilisation for the industrial sector declined 0.1 percentage point in February to 75.4%, the US Federal Reserve said today.
The Index of Consumer Sentiment in the US rose by 1.3% in March to 97.6 from 96.3 in February, according to the latest survey from the University of Michigan. The Index of Consumer Expectations rose by 0.2% in March to 86.7 from 86.5 in February.
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the US increased 0.6% in February to 126.2, following a 0.6% increase in January, and a 0.6% increase in December.