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US: Stocks open flat after convictions of ex-Trump aides


[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks were flat in early trading Wednesday as US political turmoil was offset by continued optimism over trade talks.

About 10 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was essentially unchanged at 25,926.12.

The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 0.1 per cent to 2,861.37, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite gained 0.1 per cent to 7,867.32.

Investors were trying to assess the market implications of Tuesday's political happenings following the conviction of President Donald Trump's former campaign manager and a guilty plea by his former personal lawyer.

Markets have in the past generally shrugged off such Trump controversies.

Investors were also eyeing talks scheduled to start Wednesday between US and Chinese officials that investors hope can avert an escalation of the trade conflict between the world's two biggest economies.

In earnings news, Target, the mostly domestic rival to US behemoth Walmart, jumped 4.5 per cent as it lifted its full-year profit forecast following a better-than-expected second quarter.