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U.S. Stocks Remain Firmly Negative In Mid-Day Trading

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After coming under pressure early in the session, stocks remain mostly negative in mid-day trading on Monday. The major averages have slid firmly into negative territory, adding to the losses posted last week.

Currently, the major averages are off their worst levels but stuck in the red. The Dow is down 221.82 points or 0.8 percent at 26,065.62, the Nasdaq is down 41.44 points or 0.5 percent at 7,917.70 and the S&P 500 is down 19.79 points or 0.7 percent at 2,898.86.

The weakness on Wall Street comes amid worries about a prolonged trade war between the U.S. and China after President Donald Trump indicated he feels no sense of urgency to resolve the dispute.

Trump told reporters last Friday that he is "not ready to make a deal" with China and suggested the U.S. could skip the next round of trade talks in September.

"We'll see whether or not we keep our meeting in September. If we do, that's fine. If we don't, that's fine," Trump said. "But it's time that somebody does what we're doing."

Trump denied that Americans are paying the price for his trade war with China, arguing that Beijing's efforts to depress their currency prove that the Chinese are "paying for it."

"I want them to do well. But as of this moment, they're having the worst year that they've had in many, many years — in decades," he added. "And really, we're just bringing the system back into order."

Concerns about the impact of increasingly violent protests in Hong Kong are also weighing on the markets, with the Hong Kong International Airport canceling all departing flights due to the disruption caused by protesters.

The pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong have intensified following allegations of unnecessary police violence on Sunday.

Overall trading activity remains somewhat subdued, however, as a lack of major U.S. economic data is keeping some traders on the sidelines.

Several key economic reports are scheduled to be released in the coming days, including an avalanche of data on Thursday.

Sector News

Steel stocks continue to turn in some of the market's worst performances on the day amid the concerns about the impact of the U.S.-China trade war.

Reflecting the weakness in the sector, the NYSE Arca Steel Index has plunged by 2.8 percent to its lowest intraday level in almost three years.

Significant weakness has also emerged among financial stocks, with the KBW Bank Index and the NYSE Arca Broker/Dealer Index sliding by 1.8 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.

Worries about the outlook for global energy demand are also weighing on energy stocks despite a modest increase by the price of crude oil.

Transportation and biotechnology stocks are also seeing notable weakness, moving lower along with most of the other major sectors.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance on Monday, with several major markets closed for holidays. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slid by 0.4 percent, while South Korea's Kospi edged up by 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved modestly lower on the day. While the German DAX Index slipped by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries have shown a notable move to the upside after ending last Friday's trading modestly lower. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 6.8 basis points at 1.666 percent.

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