The S&P 500 index clinched another all-time high on Tuesday afternoon, even as trading in assets perceived as safe havens, like U.S. Treasuries, benefitted from pessimism about the global economic outlook and the prospect of an ongoing trade war with China.
How are benchmarks faring?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
was up 69 points, or 0.26%, at 26,786.75, the S&P 500
gained 0.29%, or 8.7 points, setting a new record of 2,973.02, while the Nasdaq Composite Index
closed about 18 points higher, or 0.22%, to reach 8,1069.06.
On Monday, the Dow closed up 117 points, or 0.44%, to 26,717.43, briefly trading above its closing record at 26,828.39 during that session, while the S&P 500 index held on to a 0.8% gain, or 23 points, at 2,964.33, setting an intraday record at 2,977.86. The Nasdaq Composite was 85 points higher, or 1.1%, at 8,091.16. The Dow and the Nasdaq are within 1% of their records.
What’s driving the market?
Low debt yields globally and the prospect of renewed monetary policy stimulus from global central banks are encouraging equity investors.
But the truce in the trade war between the U.S .and China resulting from last weekend’s G-20 meeting in Japan still leaves substantive issues unresolved and does little to turn around weak business spending and manufacturing activity data, analysts noted.
Wall Street was also digesting the latest on import tariff disputes after President Donald Trump told reporters late Monday that a new round of Sino-American negotiations had begun via phone on the heels of a face-to-face meeting between Trump and China President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Group of 20 gathering of major developed countries over the weekend.
White House economic adviser Peter Navarro told CNBC Tuesday that while negotiations have begun, “this will take time, and we want to get it right,” while providing no new details of the timing of further trade discussions or when a deal might be reached.
Meanwhile Trump’s administration expanded a list of potential import duties, about $4 billion in goods, that could be placed on European Union products as part of a separate tariff spat between the U.S. and the EU, centering on subsidies between Boeing Co.
and Airbus SE
The additions to list of duties include cheese and whiskey and extends an earlier roster of some $21 billion in EU products.
“A sense of optimism over both sides finding a middle ground on trade is likely to distract market players away from geopolitical risk factors. However, given how the implemented tariffs are denting global growth and still remain unresolved—nothing much has changed,” wrote Lukman Otunuga, research analyst a brokerage FXTM.
Against that backdrop, gold prices
“With the underlying factors weighing on investor confidence still in play, this illusion of market stability may be tested as the second half of 2019 gets under way,” he said.
In a speech in London, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said Tuesday that while she now sees “some chance” that the economy will stumble this year, she would need to see more hard evidence of a significant slowdown to advocated for interest rate cuts.
Meanwhile, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have agreed to maintain price-supportive production cuts for nine months at the conclusion of a closely watched meeting of the cartel and major oil producers, including Russia. However, crude-oil prices declined amid worries about waning expectations for demand amid global growth worries.
Which stocks are in focus?
Shares of Uber Technologies Inc. closed 0.6% lower on Tuesday after Stifel analysts initiated coverage of the ride-hailing company with a hold rating and a price target of $50, or 13% above its current trading level. Separately, they raised their target on buy-rated Lyft Inc.
shares to $76 from $70. Shares of ride-sharing rival Lyft Inc. lost 1.65%.
Shares of Amarin Corp.
gained 16%, after the pharmaceutical company raised its full-year outlook, while announcing plans to double its U.S. sales force to better market its Vascepa treatment for cardiovascular disease.
How are other markets trading?
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note
closed at 1.977%, its lowest in more than two years.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index
, which was closed for a holiday on Monday, gained 1.2% on Tuesday, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index
finished in negative territory but close to unchanged and the CSI 300 Index
closed barely in positive territory.
European stocks booked modest gains, with the Stoxx Europe 600
The U.S. dollar
was off 0.07%, while oil prices
tumbled more than 3% amid growing concerns about economic weakness permeating the developed world.
Oil futures fell almost 5%, settling at their lowest point in about two weeks.