U.S. stocks are wavering Thursday morning after a sharp drop late in the previous day.

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks are wavering Thursday morning after a sharp drop late in the previous day. Energy companies are rising with the price of oil and retailers are up after a series of strong sales reports. Later, President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, will start a two-day meeting.

 

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index added 3 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,356 as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 24 points, or 0.1 percent, to 20,672. The Nasdaq composite gained 7 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,871. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks continued to lag the rest of the market. It was down less than 1 point to 1,351.

 

Stocks sank late Wednesday after the Federal Reserve disclosed the minutes from its March meeting. The Fed is said it may stop buying new bonds later this year and its policymakers were grappling with whether it would be safe to let inflation rise faster.

 

ENERGY: U.S. crude oil added 44 cents to $51.59 a barrel in New York while Brent crude, the international standard, rose 45 cents to $54.81 a barrel in London. That helped energy companies trade higher.

 

RETAIL RALLY: A number of retailers traded higher. Victoria's Secret parent L Brands jumped $4.55, or 10.6 percent, to $47.65 and Costco picked up $3.96, or 2.4 percent, to $170.96 after they reported their March sales. Bed Bath & Beyond surpassed analysts' earnings estimates and climbed $2.27, or 6 percent, to $40.07. Discount store Fred's also rose $1.80, or 14.3 percent, to $14.35 after reporting a strong quarter. Retail stocks have been hit hard for months as shoppers spend more money online and less at stores, especially ones based in malls.

 

BONDS: Bond prices held steady. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note remained at 2.34 percent. Banks wobbled between gains and losses. They fell hard on Wednesday as investors snapped up bonds following the release of minutes from the Fed's policy meeting. With investors buying bonds at a rapid clip, prices rose and yields fell. That sent interest rates lower, which affects the profits banks make from lending.

 

Citigroup dipped 12 cents to $59.47 and Capital One lost $1.08, or 1.3 percent, to $83.05.