Stocks Jump After Trump Tweet

THURSDAY – Stocks jumped in early trading Thursday after President Donald Trump said China and the U.S. were zeroing in on a trade deal, lifting hope that an agreement will be reached before a key deadline.

The S&P 500 hit a record high, rising 0.9%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 250 points higher, or 0.9%. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.8%.

Trump said in a tweet both sides were getting “VERY close to a BIG DEAL with China. They want it, and so do we!”

His tweet comes after Reuters reported that Trump was meeting with his top trade officials on Thursday ahead of a Sunday trade deadline. If an agreement is not reached by then, additional U.S. levies on Chinese products will take effect.

Stocks started December on the wrong foot as worries around U.S.-China trade relations increased. In the first two sessions of the month, the Dow lost more than 500 points.

Still, the major averages are up sharply for the year. The S&P 500 and Dow have jumped 25.3% and 19.7%, respectively, year to date. The Nasdaq is up around 30%.

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Disappointing Manufacturing Data Drops Stocks

MONDAY – Stocks dropped on Monday, the first trading day of December, as investors digested disappointing economic data along with the latest trade news after capping a month that featured blistering gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 251 points, or 0.9%. The S&P 500 pulled back 0.9% while the Nasdaq Composite traded 1.4% lower. The major averages started off the session with slight gains before turning lower.

Shares of Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet and Apple all dropped more than 1%. Netflix traded 2.7% lower. Roku, which has been one of the hottest stocks of 2019, plummeted more than 15%.

The Cboe Volatility Index, which is regarded as the best fear gauge in the market, rose to 14.8 from 12.6.

Monday’s losses came after a strong performance in November. The major averages had their biggest monthly gains since June, rallying to record highs. The S&P 500 climbed 3.4% last month while the Dow advanced 3.7%. The Nasdaq rallied 4.5%.

Manufacturing activity in the U.S. continued to contract last month, the Institute for Supply Management said. The ISM Manufacturing PMI dipped to 48.1 in November. That’s below an estimate of 49.4. Stocks hit their session lows after the data was released.

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Brexit & Trade Worried Hamper Stocks

WEDNESDAY – U.S. stocks were lower Wednesday as worries over U.S.-China trade relations dampened sentiment around a record-setting rally.

The Wall Street Journal reported, citing former Trump administration officials, that the ongoing trade talks could hit an impasse that would derail a so-called “phase one” trade deal. Uncertainty around trade also grew after the Senate passed a bill supporting Hong Kong protesters. This led China to accuse the U.S. of interfering in domestic affairs.

The Dow pulled back from record highs on Tuesday amid losses from Boeing and Home Depot while investors monitored earnings and developments in the U.S.-China trade talks. There is lingering uncertainty among investors about the possibility of a deal between both countries, despite comments last month suggesting they were close to signing a partial agreement.

Elsewhere, investors are awaiting minutes from the Federal Reserve’s October policy meeting at 2 p.m. The U.S. central bank decided to lower the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to a range of 1.5% to 1.75% late last month.

In corporate news, Target shares jumped more than 8% in the premarket after the retailer posted quarterly results that easily beat expectations. Target also raised its full-year profit outlook.

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Stocks Start Thursday Flat

THURSDAY – U.S. stock index futures indicated a flat open Thursday as a move to record highs took a pause amid persisting worries around U.S-China trade relations.

At 8:20 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures slipped 37 points, pointing to a decline of 21 points at the open. The 30-stock average closed at an all-time high in the previous session. Futures on the S&P 500 — which also eked out a record closing high on Wednesday — and Nasdaq 100 both fell marginally.

Talks between the U.S. and China are thought to have hit a snag over agricultural purchases. The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Beijing is resisting requests from the White House to curb tech transfers as well as enforcement mechanisms. China is also reportedly wary about committing to specific farm purchases from the U.S.

Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said overnight that both countries are holding “in-depth” discussions about a phase one deal, but noted that the rolling back of some tariffs is key to reaching an agreement.

On the data front, the latest weekly jobless claims will be released at around 8:30 a.m. ET. The Labor Department is poised to report its producer price index (PPI) for October at the same time.

At around 10 a.m. ET, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will testify before the House Budget Committee on the economic outlook.

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Stocks Tempered By Interest Rate and Tariff Concerns

WEDNESDAY – Stocks slipped on Wednesday as investors digested mixed news around U.S.-China trade talks along with testimony from the highest-ranking Federal Reserve official.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded lower a fraction of a percent. The S&P 500 dipped 0.3% while the Nasdaq Composite also slid 0.3%.

Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both notched intraday records in the previous session. The Dow came within a hair of its all-time high on Tuesday.

The U.S. and China are reportedly at loggerheads over tariffs as they seek to conclude phase one of their trade deal. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday night, citing people familiar with the talks, that the impasse is on whether the U.S. should remove existing tariffs or would only cancel duties that are set to take effect on Dec. 15.

Meanwhile, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will address the Congressional Joint Economic Committee later in the day. In prepared remarks, he said the path of Fed interest rates is unlikely to change as long as the economy keeps growing.

On the data front, the U.S. consumer price index rose more than expected in October. The index increased by 0.4% last month, the Labor Department said. Economists polled by Reuters expected a gain of 0.3%.

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Stocks Open Lower On Trade Worries

U.S. stock index futures were lower Monday amid lingering U.S.-China trade worries while protests in Hong Kong escalate.

Around 7:30 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down 118 points, indicating a loss of 136 points at the open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 were also lower.

These decline would knock the major averages from record levels reached last week. The Dow notched its eighth record close of the year on Friday while the S&P 500 closed at an all-time high for the 19th time. The Nasdaq, meanwhile, posted a record close for the 14th time in 2019.

President Donald Trump said Friday he had not agreed to roll back tariffs on China. Those comments came after the Chinese commerce ministry said that both sides had agreed to cancel existing tariffs in phases. A U.S. official also reportedly said both sides agreed to roll back the tariffs in tranches.

The stock market’s recent move to record highs comes in part because of improving sentiment around U.S.-China trade talks. With his comments on Friday, Trump dampened trade expectations in the market. 

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Stocks Flat In Friday Trading, But S&P 500 Has A 5-week Winning Streak

FRIDAY – Stocks hovered around the flatline on Friday but remained on track for solid weekly gains after trade optimism sparked a massive rotation out of bonds and lifted equities to record levels.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 38 points lower, or 0.1%. The S&P 500 slid 0.1% while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.3%.

Disney was among the best-performing stocks on Wall Street after the company released its latest quarterly figures. Health care was the best-performing sector in the S&P 500, gaining 0.4%.

The major averages were poised to extend their weekly winning streaks despite Friday’s muted performance amid an improving tone around global trade

The Dow is up 1.1% week to date. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite are up 0.6% and 0.8%, respectively, for the week. It would be the third straight week of gains for the Dow while the S&P 500 headed for its fifth straight weekly gain. The Nasdaq was on pace for a six-week winning streak.

Sentiment was also boosted this week by corporate earnings results that have generally beaten expectations. Of the 425 S&P 500 companies that have reported thus far, 74% have beaten estimates.

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Stocks Try To End Big Week On A High Note

FRIDAY – U.S. stock futures pointed to a little changed open on Friday following a record-setting session for the major stock indexes.

Around 7 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were unchanged but pointed to a gain of 33 points at the open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures pointed to a flat open.

The small implied gain for the Dow comes after Disney shares jumped more than 5% on great earnings. Disney’s revenues for its media and networks segment topped estimates, while sales for the company’s parks, studio entertainment and direct-to-consumer businesses also beat expectations.

Stocks rose to record highs on Thursday after the world’s two largest economies reportedly agreed to remove existing trade tariffs, sparking a huge rotation into equities and out of bonds. The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield jumped more than 15 basis points at one point on Thursday, its biggest upward move since the 2016 election.

The increasingly positive tone around global trade put the major indexes on track for solid weekly gains. Entering Friday’s session, the Dow is up 1.2% week to date. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite are both up 0.6% for the week through Thursday’s close. It would be the third straight week of gains for the Dow while the S&P 500 headed for its fifth straight weekly gain. The Nasdaq was on pace for a six-week winning streak.

On the data front, consumer sentiment figures are due out at 10 a.m. ET, as well as wholesale trade numbers.

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Roku Stock Takes A Dive

Shares of Roku plunged Thursday as the streaming devices company posted third-quarter results that missed Wall Street’s expectation after multiple quarters of blowout growth.

Roku reported a third-quarter loss of 22 cents a share, worse than the 18 cents a share loss analysts surveyed by FactSet expected. Roku had beaten analysts’ expectations for quarterly earnings in seven of its last eight reports.

“ROKU broke a string of 2019 beats reporting a mixed 3Q and a frankly surprisingly mixed 4Q despite its (temporary) leadership position in the distribution of Disney+,” Pivotal Research analyst Jeffrey Wlodarczak said. “We are not surprised by the … decline indication in the stock in the after-market as an undeniably rich 12+X ’20 revenue multiple simply does not leave a lot of room for anything but material beats.”

Pivotal has a sell rating on Roku with a $60 price target. RBC Capital similarly pointed out Roku’s advantage as a distributor, as it get revenue from the streaming services of Apple, Disney, Amazon and Netflix. But unlike Wlodarczak, RBC’s Mark Mahaney has an outperform rating on Roku, as he sees it “as one of the best plays on ad-supported” over-the-top services, saying “the Streaming Wars catalyst isn’t showing up in the numbers yet, but we continue to believe ROKU will benefit materially.”

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Tariff News Lifts Stocks To Records

U.S. stock index futures turned sharply higher Thursday after China said the world’s two largest economies had agreed to remove existing trade tariffs.

Around 8:30 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 154 points, implying an opening gain of 138 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also pointed to solid gains.

The gains put the Dow and S&P 500 on track to reach fresh record highs at the open.

Gao Feng, a ministry spokesperson for China’s Commerce Ministry, said that both sides had agreed to simultaneously cancel some existing tariffs on one another’s goods, according to the country’s state broadcaster. The ministry spokesperson said that both sides were closer to a so-called “phase one” trade agreement following constructive negotiations over the past two weeks.

One important condition for a limited trade agreement, Feng insisted, was that the U.S. and China must remove the same amount of charges at the same time.

On the data front, the latest weekly jobless claims numbers came in at 211,000, down slightly from 218,000 in the previous week.

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