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Wall Street Mixed Amid Shutdown, Trade Tensions

Concerns have dampened upbeat earnings

Wall Street struggled for direction on Wednesday, as early gains driven by a spate of upbeat earnings were offset by concerns about a potential economic downturn, trade tensions and longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

While the S&P 500 was flat and the Nasdaq edged lower, the blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average rose as positive quarterly results from International Business Machines (N:IBM), Procter & Gamble Co (N:PG), United Technologies (N:UTX) and others helped pull the index into positive territory.

Optimism early in the session was dampened by reports that business leaders gathered at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, were losing confidence in President Donald Trump's policies as the effects from the prolonged U.S.-China trade stand-off become more deeply felt.

Uncertainty persisted in Washington, where no end to the longest-ever federal government shutdown appeared to be in sight.

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