New York (AFP)

Wall Street closed on Thursday, reacting nervously to conflicting news about the Sino-US trade war and mixed indicators of the health of the US economy.

Its flagship index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, gained 0.39% to 25,579.39 points.

The Nasdaq, with strong technological coloration, yielded 0.09%, to 7,766.62 points.

The broad index S & P 500 took 0.25%, to 2,847.60 points.

The New York Stock Exchange, affected by signs of recession, had a tumble Wednesday. In particular, the Dow Jones had its heaviest fall of the year.

Thursday's session was marked by multiple changes in trend, with the main indices alternating between green and red.

A short wave of panic even seized investors in the early afternoon when the interest rate on the 30-year US Treasury, which had never fallen below 2%, fell to 1 percent. 91%. It stood at 1.95% around 20h20 GMT.

"It's a schizophrenic market, influenced by bond yields and headline news, which is changing the market in the opposite direction," said CFRA's Lindsey Bell.

Thursday, market players struggled to interpret the latest developments in the trade war between the United States and China.

Beijing has certainly threatened Washington with "retaliatory measures" if the United States enforced additional punitive tariffs on products made in China.

But a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry also called for a compromise.

"We hope that the United States can work with China to implement the consensus that was reached (at the G20 summit) in Osaka," Hua Chunying told reporters.

Investors also struggled to interpret data on the US economy released Thursday.

Retail sales jumped in July, outpacing analysts' expectations, and productivity increased more than expected in the second quarter.

In contrast, industrial production fell 0.2% in July from June, disappointing analysts' expectations, according to figures from the Federal Reserve (Fed).

"It's August, the market is particularly volatile because of the low volume," Bell said. "It does not take much to rock," she added.

© 2019 AFP