NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks were mixed in afternoon trading Monday as Wall Street nears the end of a relatively strong earnings season and looks ahead to key trade talks between the U.S. and China.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin is leading a delegation set to meet with Chinese officials on Thursday and Friday. The talks are aimed at resolving a trade war that threatens to stunt global economic growth, in part by raising prices on goods for consumers and companies. The situation could get worse when a truce on tariffs expires in early March.
Economists' fears of a global slowdown were given additional fuel from a report Monday showing Britain's economy had its slowest economic growth since the aftermath of the global financial crisis. Both Europe overall and China are contending with slower growth.
Corporate earnings are so far mixed on a light day for reporting. The owner of Tim Horton's and Burger King, Restaurant Brands, jumped after reporting strong earnings results. Commercial insurer Loews plunged on a fourth-quarter loss caused by higher catastrophe losses.
Looking ahead, beverage and consumer product giants Coca-Cola and Nestle will report earnings this week.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell51 points, or 0.2 percent, to 25,054 as of 11:55 a.m. Eastern time. The S&P 500 index was little changed and the Nasdaq composite added 0.1 percent.
COFFEE, EH?: A surge in sales at Tim Hortons helped parent company Restaurant Brands gain ground on the market. The company, which also operates Burger King, beat Wall Street forecasts, beat key sales measures for both Tim Horton's and Burger King. The stock rose 1 percent.
BURRITO BIO-PIC: Chipotle hired documentary filmmaker Errol Morris to create ads showcasing its kitchens, prep routines and partners. Morris is the director of the Oscar-winning documentary "Fog of War".
The Mexican-food chain is still rehabilitating its image years after a series of food-borne illnesses scared away customers and drove sales lower.
The stock rose 3.3 percent.
FEEL THE SURGE: Shares of Tesla rose 3 percent. Canaccord upgraded the stock from "Hold" to "Buy" and wrote in a note that results for the last two quarters and Tesla's outlook have removed "significant concerns" for Model 3 production and profitability.
Also, LMC Automotive estimated that the Model 3 was the top-selling luxury car in the U.S. last year, outselling the Lexus ES by more than two to one.
OVERSEAS: European markets were mostly higher, though the British FTSE 100 fell. Asian markets were also mostly higher.
The British economy grew by 1.4 percent in 2018, its slowest rate of growth since 2009. Uncertainty around the nation's so far messy departure from the key European trading organization played a major role in stunting growth. Britain is also dealing with wider global trends, including higher tariffs.