Those gains faded and then turned to losses thanks to more declines in banks.
Several big technology and health care stocks fared better. Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson each rose 0.9 percent.
The S&P 500 index fell 1 point to 2,636.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 53 points, or 0.2 percent, to 24,370. The Nasdaq composite rose 11 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,031.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.88 percent.
Stocks are higher on Wall Street in midday trading as traders hoped for a thaw in the trade tensions between the U.S. and China.
Indexes jumped in early trading Tuesday but gave up much of those gains by midday.
Investors were encouraged by news that U.S. and Chinese officials spoke on the phone, raising hopes that talks would resume on defusing their trade dispute.
Microsoft climbed 1.6 percent and Johnson & Johnson rose 0.9 percent.
General Motors rose 3.8 percent following a report that China would consider lowering its tariffs on cars imported from the U.S.
The S&P 500 rose 13 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,651.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 68 points, or 0.3 percent, to 24,491. The Nasdaq rose 57 points, or 0.8 percent, to 7,078.
Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street as technology companies gain back some of the ground they’ve lost in recent days.
Traders were encouraged by news that U.S. and Chinese officials spoke on the phone, raising hopes that trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies may ease.
Microsoft rose 2.2 percent in early trading Tuesday.
Banks were also doing better after taking a drubbing over the past week. JPMorgan Chase climbed 1.9 percent. Bank of New York Mellon rose 2.6 percent after announcing an increase to its stock buyback program.
The S&P 500 index rose 33 points, or 1.3 percent, to 2,671.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 343 points, or 1.4 percent, to 24,771. The Nasdaq composite rose 98 points, or 1.4 percent, to 7,119.