U.S. stocks closed lower Friday after President Donald Trump suggested that a near-term deal between the U.S. and China on tariffs was unlikely soon. However, equity indexes managed to claw back most of the sharp losses that commenced a turbulent five-day stretch for Wall Street.
How did benchmarks perform?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
closed 90.75 points, or 0.3%, lower at 26,287.44, with the index turning positive at one point during the session, erasing a roughly 280-point decline.
The S&P 500 index
slipped 19.44 points, or 0.7%, to end at 2,918.65. Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index
declined 1% to 7,959.14, off 80.02 points. All three benchmarks suffered declines of at least 1% at Friday’s nadir.
For the week, the Nasdaq lost 0.6%, the S&P 500 lost 0.5%, while the Dow ended the week off 0.8%.
What’s driving the market?
Trump told reporters on Friday that things are going “very well with China”, but said he’s not ready to make a deal. He also said that he could cancel a coming September meeting of Sino-American trade negotiators. “We’ll see whether or not we keep our meeting in September. If we do, that’s fine. If we don’t, that’s fine,” the president said at the White House on his way to a fundraiser in the Hamptons, on New York’s Long Island.
Wall Street has seen whipsawing action over the past 5 sessions, amid concerns about Trump’s tariffs on imports from China that sparked a nearly 3% drop for the Dow and S&P 500, and a 3.5% tumble for the Nasdaq on Monday.
“People should have no illusions – stocks are likely to remain volatile until earnings visibility improves,” wrote Alec Young, managing director of global markets research at FTSE Russell, in a Friday research note. “And with global growth clearly slowing, progress in U.S.-China trade negotiations is critical if investors are to view the earnings outlook positively.”
About 90% of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported actual results for in the second-quarter of 2019 as of Friday, with those earnings on pace for a 0.7% decline in S&P 500 earnings per share, or EPS, marking the first time the index has reported two straight quarters of year-over-year declines in earnings since 2016, wrote John Butters, FactSet analyst.
A late-Thursday report indicating that the Trump administration wasn’t ready to let U.S. companies resume doing business with Huawei Technologies Co. got markets off on the wrong foot on Friday. Beijing has refused to purchase U.S. agricultural goods as a part of an earlier agreement, Bloomberg News reported (paywall).
The development marked the latest move in the testy confrontation between the two superpowers that has helped to collapse a detente achieved temporarily in May when Trump and President Xi Jinping met on the sidelines of the G-20 gathering in Osaka, Japan.
However, worries that Beijing would weaponize its onshore currency, the yuan
have not immediately been realized. The People’s Bank of China on Friday in Asian hours set the daily reference rate for the yuan to 7.0136, which eased some fears that the second-largest economy would push to weaken its monetary unit. The PBOC allows the yuan to drift within 2% of the midpoint.
Meanwhile, Italian government bonds were in focus after Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, the head of the far-right League party, sought to dissolve parliament and trigger elections, which stoked a run for safe haven assets driving sovereign debt yields lower.
The 10-year Treasury yielded edged up to 1.731% early Friday, with comparable German bonds
a proxy for the health of eurozone economy, at negative 0.579%, hovering near a record low.
In economic news, a report on U.S. producer prices, the producer-price index, showed wholesale prices increased 0.2% last month, matching the forecast of economists polled by MarketWatch. However, wholesale inflation over the past year was unchanged at 1.7%. A more closely followed measure that strips out volatile food, energy and trade-margin costs fell for the first time in almost four years. The so-called core PPI dipped 0.1%.
Which stocks were in focus?
Shares of Uber Technologies Inc.
were down 6.8% after the ride-hailing service reported a huge $5.24 billion quarterly loss.
Shares of Gilead Sciences Inc.’s
ended 0.7% higher after its drug Biktarvy was approved for the treatment of HIV-1 in China, the company said Friday.
J.C. Penney Co. Inc.
received a delisting notice from the Securities and Exchange Commission because its shares have been trading below a threshold for an extended period. Shares of the company, at 60 cents, were down 13.5% in Friday action and have shed 42% thus far in 2019.
McDonald’s Corp. stock
rose 1.4%, to pace the Dow’s gainers on Friday. The fast-food behemoth’s stock was headed for a fourth-straight gain, and a third-straight record close.
What other assets are in focus?
Gold futures for December delivery
Oil prices surged. U.S. oil prices
rose nearly 4%, adding to a 2.8% rally on Thursday on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index
gained 0.4%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index
fell 0.7%, while the CS1 300 index
The pan-European Stoxx 600
meanwhile, headed 0.4% lower.