Stocks trimmed early losses but still suffered a third straight day of declines Tuesday, after President Donald Trump said it may take until after the 2020 U.S. elections to complete a trade deal with China, while trade tensions escalated on other fronts, including Brazil, Argentina and France.
What did major indexes do?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
ended 280.23 points lower, down 1%, at 27,502.81, for its biggest one-day point and percentage drop since Oct. 8. The Dow fell nearly 458 points at its session low in morning trade. The S&P 500 index
finished with a loss of 20.67 points, or 0.7%, at 3,093.20, while the Nasdaq Composite Index
retreated 47.34 points, or 0.6%, ending at 8,520.64.
What’s driving the market?
Stocks slumped after Trump said at a news conference in London, where he was attending a NATO meeting, that he had “no deadline” when it comes to concluding the two-year-old U.S.-China trade talks.
“In some ways, I think it’s better to wait until after the election if you want to know the truth. But I’m not going to say that, I just think that,” Trump said.
In apparent response to the president’s comments, a Chinese news outlet associated with the ruling Communist Party, the Global Times, tweeted that China’s government is prepared for “even the worst-case scenario.”
Meanwhile, on Monday the President tweeted that he was bringing back tariffs on Brazilian and Argentinian steel, while the administration also proposed tariffs of up to 100% on $2.4 billion in French imports.
Major stock indexes rallied to a series of record highs in November, but investors and analysts have warned that markets could be in for a rougher ride if concrete progress isn’t seen ahead of a Dec. 15 deadline for another round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports.
Some analysts remained hopeful that stocks can recover from Tuesday’s selloff.
“We have seen this movie many times before, however, where the president throws out remarks during trade talks that in retrospect have just been a negotiating tactic, especially when he starts off by saying China wants a deal more than he does,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist with MUFG.
“We still think a phase-one deal is coming, although it is likely to go down to the final deadline of Dec. 15. Markets are trapped by the changing news, but this is exactly like a reality TV show where the outcome continues to be drawn-out to the bitter end,” he said. “The president can’t afford for stocks to crater, that much is clear, with an election hanging in the balance less than a year away. “
Which stocks are in focus?
Stocks with exposure to the trade war led the market lower. Caterpillar Inc.
fell 2% and Apple Inc.
lost 1.8%. The PHLX semiconductor index
, which tracks the performance of major American chip makers, fell 1.5%.
Financial stocks also suffered a broad selloff as trade-war fears sent the 10-year Treasury yield sharply lower. The SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF
Shares of United Health
fell 1% after a disappointing forecast for adjusted earnings in 2020.
Shares of E.L.F Beauty Inc.
fell 5% Tuesday after shareholder Marathon Partners urged the company to consider a strategic overhaul, including a possible sale, in a letter to the board of directors.
shares declined 0.3% after the beverage-and-snacks manufacturer said it planned to buy BFY Brands Inc., maker of PopCorners snacks, for an undisclosed sum.
How did other markets trade?
The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note
fell 12 basis points to 1.716% after the president’s comments.
In commodities markets, the price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil for January delivery
ended up 19 cents, or 0.3% at $56.15 on international trade concerns.
Gold for February delivery
rose to a one-month high, gaining $15.20 to $1,484.40 an ounce as investors sought havens.
The U.S. dollar edged 0.1% lower, according to the ICE U.S. dollar index
In Europe, stocks closed lower, with the Stoxx Europe 600
In Asia overnight, stocks traded mixed, with the China CSI 300
gaining 0.4%, Japan’s Nikkei 225
declining 0.6% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index
edging 0.2% lower.