US stocks trade flat near record highs, Nasdaq outperforms

Major US equity indices witnessed a flat opening on Thursday, with Nasdaq Composite outperforming and extending rally into eight consecutive sessions.

The broader S&P 500 Index remains within striking distance of the all-time high set on Jan. 26, as investors preferred to focus on mostly positive corporate earnings rather than the ongoing US-China trade conflicts.

US stock markets had been relatively resilient to the latest trade-related developments, wherein China retaliated to Trump administration's new tariffs and imposed 25% tariffs on $16 billion worth of US products. 

However, investors believed that the underlying strength of the US economy, coupled with quarterly results have been strong enough to shrug off any sort of risk and should support the ongoing strong bullish momentum. 

On the economic data front, initial jobless claims fell more than expected to 213K, while the July PPI was flat, albeit did little to provide any meaningful impetus during the opening hour of trade.

At the time of writing this report, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down around 10-15 points to 25,570 and the S&P 500 Index treaded water near yesterday's closing level of 2,858. Conversely, tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index climbed nearly 13-points and ticked above the 7,900 mark.

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