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Stocks finished roughly flat ahead of the extended Labor Day weekend but held on to strong gains for the month, with the Dow and the S&P 500 rising a respective 2.1% and 3% for their best August performances since 2014 and the Nasdaq Composite racking up its best August showing since 2000, gaining 5.7%.

U.S. and Canadian officials were unable to reach a trade agreement by Pres. Trump's end-of-the-day deadline, but the White House then said talks will extend into next week, which helped the market recoup modest earlier losses.

All 11 of the S&P industry group closed within 0.5% of their unchanged marks except for energy (-0.7%), which fell as WTI crude oil futures slipped 0.5% to $69.84/bbl; energy finished August at the bottom of the sector standings with a monthly loss of 3.8%.

Elsewhere, U.S. Treasury prices rose, pushing yields lower across the curve, with the benchmark 10-year yield edging a basis point lower to 2.85%, while the U.S. Dollar Index added 0.4% to 95.05, its best level in a week.

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