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Wall Street ekes out gains as investors await U.S.-China trade clarity

Stock Markets Nov 18, 2019 04:35PM ET
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© Reuters. A trader works on the floor at the NYSE in New York

By Sinéad Carew

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street's three main indexes on Monday barely extended the previous session's closing records as investors waited for concrete progress on U.S.-China trade relations after mixed headlines.

The market appeared to welcome Washington's extension for U.S. companies to do business with Huawei after the Chinese telecommunications equipment maker was put on a U.S. blacklist in May.

But investors were concerned about a CNBC report that the mood in Beijing over the potential for a trade deal was pessimistic due to President Donald Trump's reluctance to roll back tariffs.

This was after Chinese state media said on Saturday that the two sides had "constructive" trade talks, after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said they were close to a deal.

"Markets are very focused on trade because it's still not clear whether or not the U.S. and China can reach an agreement. If it was easy to reach an agreement they would've done so many months ago," said David Lefkowitz, senior equity strategist at UBS Global Wealth Management.

"At least for today there's not a lot in terms of market moving data or information ... There's no reason to buy or sell aggressively."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose 31.33 points, or 0.11%, to 28,036.22, the S&P 500 (SPX) gained 1.57 points, or 0.05%, to 3,122.03 and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) added 9.11 points, or 0.11%, to 8,549.94.

"Investors are being patient because they don't want to chase new all-time highs too far until they have clarity on trade," said Michael O’Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Stamford, Connecticut.

Seven of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were trading higher, with defensives such as consumer staples (SPLRCS) and real estate <.SPLRCR> leading the percentage gains.

The energy sector (SPNY) was the biggest percentage loser dropping 1.33% as oil prices fell.

Trading was relatively slow with 6.55 billion shares changing hands on U.S. exchanges compared with the 6.93 billion average in the last 20 sessions.

"We're sort of in a vacuum of information and news. That's why the market is very sensitive to what's happening on the trade front," said Lefkowitz of UBS, noting that the earnings season was mostly done.

Later this week, the Federal Reserve will release minutes from its latest policy meeting, where the central bank cut interest rates for the third time this year. Also ahead are results from U.S. retailers, including Home Depot Inc (N:HD), Kohl's Corp (N:KSS) and Target Corp (N:TGT).

Coty Inc (N:COTY) gained 2.60% after the cosmetics maker said it would pay $600 million for a majority stake in Kylie Jenner's make-up and skincare businesses.

The S&P 500 posted 42 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 103 new highs and 126 new lows.

Wall Street ekes out gains as investors await U.S.-China trade clarity
 

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Comments (14)
Chris Sundo
Chris Sundo Nov 18, 2019 9:39PM ET
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S.E.C. should indict POTUS on feeding pure lies to the market. S.E.C. should indict the Wallstreet media for printing lies before verifying their truths. ----- THIS MARKET IS UP on fake money and fake news. --- How long ago did Trumpet say that 'Trade wars are easy to win'?
Leo Woodsman
Leo Woodsman Nov 18, 2019 4:03PM ET
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Node dive
David David
David9 Nov 18, 2019 2:46PM ET
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I told you guys ... China is the Lion of the Jungle. As long as Trump knows this and do not try to poke her, the market will go up. That's how it goes.
taylor jason
taylor jason Nov 18, 2019 2:46PM ET
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your posts are always make me laugh a little everytime despite the fact you more or less comment the exact same thing every day. also if china was the lion trump would have already rolled back all the tariffs. I think both sides now realize neither has much of an advantage over the other in terms of negotiating. bottom line is both countries need each other.
TA XVCI
TA XVCI Nov 18, 2019 2:46PM ET
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Come on. Stop writing same stuff everyday! It's getting annoying. "I told you.."-thing, we don't care. Congratulations for what you told us. Stop it. The market will fall, we all know that, after this massive bull, that doesn't even match the data we have. We'll probably see a change very soon.
David David
David9 Nov 18, 2019 2:46PM ET
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I am here to make you guys laugh a little and also annoyed some ****Trump supporters. Lol
Take Kerkhof
Take Kerkhof Nov 18, 2019 2:46PM ET
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Lions don't live in the jungle, I don't know what this means for your analogy..
Ventsislav Mirchev
Ventsislav Mirchev Nov 18, 2019 1:48PM ET
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The greed of certain individuals is enormous... Huge..
Chris Sundo
Chris Sundo Nov 18, 2019 1:48PM ET
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All ppl with kids are greedy !  It's human nature. Look at Billionaires. They're getting high on ripping off others. It's a sick game
Delonte Crosby
Delonte Crosby Nov 18, 2019 9:52AM ET
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One side keep *****the market. Every time he has a doubt or changes his mind then tweets it then everybody in the market suffers. ***** if you want the deal done then get on a plane and tell the President of China that I am willing to sit down with my team and your team to sign this deal after we cover what both sides want and compromise.
Steven Chen
Gamer_LG Nov 18, 2019 9:52AM ET
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impossible atm. If trump roll back tariff without structural changes, there is no incentive for China to continue to phase 2. this issue will extend to next presidency where then trump can claim new President messed up and new president can claim trump messed up. politics is always about blaming more than doing.
MWAN WAN
MWAN WAN Nov 18, 2019 9:52AM ET
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being played by Chinese
Timothy Yap
Timothy Yap Nov 18, 2019 9:52AM ET
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There is no incentive for China to sign phase one if there isn't any roll back on tariff, forget about phase 2.
rob finch
rob finch Nov 18, 2019 9:49AM ET
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China has a history of making deals and not keeping them. Look at Hong Kong. Many other examples.
Steven Chen
Gamer_LG Nov 18, 2019 9:49AM ET
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let's go tariff 100%.
me ish
me ish Nov 18, 2019 9:49AM ET
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Oh yeah, then there's TRump and the Paris climate accord, TRump and the Iran nuclear non proliferation deal and then there's the US troops standing side by side dying together (mostly the kurds doing the dying in Syria and Trump pulled out troops to leave them against Erdogan's militias - the Yanks are an embarrassment in the world for going back on deals. lest we forget Trump has had more failed businesses and left more small businesses destitute from non payment than any other businessman in the history of the States - the guy is a mean lying crook who has no integrity whatsoever.
Erik Sukmawan
Erik Sukmawan Nov 18, 2019 9:49AM ET
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ingnore trump please...
Suman Jutur
Suman Jutur Nov 18, 2019 9:32AM ET
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very soon Trump will tweet a lie about how good negotiations are going followed by Larry Joker Kudlow backing that up
Steven Chen
Gamer_LG Nov 18, 2019 9:32AM ET
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well it sure works last week, everyday
MWAN WAN
MWAN WAN Nov 18, 2019 9:21AM ET
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trade opium-tism more appopirate
Mohammad Ikhsan Jamil
Mohammad Ikhsan Jamil Nov 18, 2019 8:54AM ET
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Neverending story
 
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