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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 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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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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Stocks Slide, But On Track For Positive Week

FRIDAY – Stocks traded lower on Friday amid weak overseas data, but remained on track to post solid weekly gains after the release of better-than-expected earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 97 points lower, or 0.4%. The S&P 500 pulled back 0.3% while the Nasdaq Composite declined by 0.5%.

More than 70 S&P 500 companies have reported calendar third-quarter earnings this week. Of those companies, 81% have posted better-than-expected results, FactSet data shows.

Weak data from China weighed down the market on Friday.

Still, concerns over the state of the global economy lingered. Overnight, China posted its weakest growth in nearly three decades, as the U.S.-China trade war hit demand at home and abroad. The world’s second-largest economy grew 6% in the third quarter, less than expected, and its weakest pace of expansion in over 27 years.

Sentiment around U.S.-China trade talks improved slightly this week, however. Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday there is “a lot of momentum” to get a deal done.

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Stocks To Rise After Draft Brexit Deal Announced

THURSDAY – U.S. stock index futures rose Thursday after a draft Brexit deal was struck between the European Union and the U.K.

Around 7:40 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 82 points, indicating a gain of about 70 points at the open. Prior to the Brexit reports, futures had been trading flat to lower. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 were also higher.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “we have a great new Brexit deal” via Twitter. He called on British lawmakers to back the deal when it’s put before Parliament on Saturday. Meanwhile, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted that the deal was a “fair and balanced” one.

Nonetheless, markets rallied on the Brexit reports, as the deal removed some investor uncertainty amid heightened concerns about the health of the global economy. On Wednesday, unexpectedly weak U.S. retail sales data fueled fears about a possible recession.

Global economic data points to slower growth, while the U.S. manufacturing sector is already contracting. Among the greatest of the worries plaguing markets is the ongoing U.S.-China trade war.

The latest weekly jobless claims figures, housing starts and building permits for September, and the Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s manufacturing index for October will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Industrial production data for September will follow slightly later in the session.

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Stocks Rise Slightly After Jobs Data

FRIDAY – U.S. stock index futures rose on Friday, erasing an earlier decline after the release of the latest U.S. jobs report.

The U.S. economy added 136,000 jobs in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected an increase of 145,000 jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, a 50-year low, but wages grew at a slower-than-expected pace last month.

Treasury yields briefly jumped before giving back those gains. The 10-year yield last traded at 1.53% after hitting 1.55%.

Wall Street will be watching speeches by Fed officials later in the day, including Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren.

Stocks came into Friday’s session on pace to record large losses for the week. The Dow was down 2.3% through Thursday’s close while the S&P 500 had lost 1.7%. The Nasdaq was down 0.9% week to date.

Those weekly losses came after a dismal U.S. manufacturing data report sparked fears of a potential recession in the U.S. Between Tuesday and Wednesday, the Dow lost more than 800 points.

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Stocks Start 4th Qtr Higher

U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday as Wall Street kicked off the final quarter of 2019.

Wall Street ended higher on Monday on the back of renewed optimism in U.S.-China trade talks. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Treasury said the White House “is not contemplating blocking Chinese companies from listing shares on U.S. stock exchanges at this time.” This relieved some earlier fears raised by reports last week that the U.S. has been looking at restricting U.S. investments in China.

Trade delegations from China and the U.S. are set to resume trade talks next week.

Furthermore, traders are looking to hear from the World Trade Organization. The institution is set to decide on an aircraft subsidies dispute that could allow the U.S. to impose tariffs on Europe.

On the data front, manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index numbers will be released at 9:45 a.m. ET; construction spending figures will be out at 10 a.m. ET, as well as the Dallas Federal Reserve service-sector numbers.

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Stocks Higher As Wall Street Watched Trade Negotiations

U.S. stock index futures were higher on Monday, the last day of September, as investors watched trade developments between the U.S. and China.

Around 7:15 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures indicated a gain of 54.75 points at the open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also traded higher.

Wall Street ended lower last week on reports that the White House is considering limiting U.S. investment into China, including a possible de-listing of Chinese companies from U.S. exchanges, in a further escalation of the ongoing trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies. However, spokespeople had denied that the U.S. was considering such a move.

U.S. and China trade delegations are due to meet on Oct. 10 as both sides try to move closer to a deal. Both countries have slapped tariffs on billion of dollars worth of their goods, dampening expectations for economic and corporate profit growth.

The major indexes were headed for a mixed monthly performance. The Nasdaq Composite was down slightly for September entering Monday’s session while the S&P 500 and Dow were up more than 1%.

On the data front, Chicago PMI figures for September are due at 8:45 a.m. ET and Dallas Fed manufacturing index data will be published at 9:30 a.m. ET.

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Stocks Inch Higher To End Week

                                                                                                                                      FRIDAY – U.S. stock index futures indicated a higher open on Friday with Washington and Beijing set to resume key trade talks mid-October.

Any positive moves on Friday, however, would offset modest weekly losses for the major stock indexes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were all on track to finish the week lower before the bell Friday morning after snapping a three-week winning streak last week.

The optimism among traders Friday morning came with trade talks between the U.S. and China set to resume Oct. 10-11 in Washington, D.C., three people familiar with the discussions said. News of a scheduled meeting adds to the growing belief on Wall Street that the trade war between the two economic superpowers has eased in recent weeks.

U.S. consumer spending slowed more than expected in August, according to a government report released Friday. Personal consumption expenditures, also known as household spending, edged up an adjusted 0.1% in August from July, when spending rose 0.5%.

The print represents consumer spending’s softest read since February and could suggest to policymakers that a critical driver of U.S. GDP growth could be set for deceleration. Consumer spending accounts for more than 66% of total economic output in the United States.

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