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U.S. Stocks Close Little Changed As Trump Skimps On Trade Talk Details

wallstreet aug20 12nov19 lt

Stocks showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading session on Tuesday, extending the lackluster performance seen over the two previous sessions. Despite the choppy trading, the tech-heavy Nasdaq ended the session at new record closing high.

While the Nasdaq rose 21.81 points or 0.3 percent to 8,486.09 and the S&P 500 edged up 4.83 points or 0.2 percent to 3,091.84, the Dow ended the day unchanged at 27,691.49.

Traders initially seemed reluctant to make significant moves ahead of President Donald Trump's speech at the Economic Club of New York this afternoon.

Activity remained light after Trump spoke, however, as he failed to provide details about the state of trade talks between the U.S. and China.

Trump claimed the Chinese are "dying to make a deal" and an agreement is "close," although investors had been hoping for more substantive comments from the president.

The president said a significant phase one trade deal with China "could happen soon" but stressed that he would only accept an agreement that is good for U.S. companies and workers.

Trump later denied that his trade war with China is hurting industry or causing uncertainty and threatened further increases in tariffs if a deal is not reached.

The president spent the bulk of his remarks touting the strength of the U.S. economy, crediting his policies cutting taxes and regulation for the growth seen in recent years.

Reflecting the lackluster performance by the broader markets, most of the major sectors ended the day showing only modest moves.

Oil service stocks showed a significant move to the downside, however, with the Philadelphia Oil Service Index falling by 1.5 percent.

The weakness in the oil service sector came amid a modest decrease by the price of crude oil, as crude for December delivery edged down $0.06 to $56.80 a barrel.

Telecom stocks also saw notable weakness on the day, while gold stocks moved higher as the price of the precious metal turned positive in electronic trading.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Tuesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 0.8 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose by 0.5 percent.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index climbed by 0.7 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.5 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries moved modestly higher after showing a lack of direction early in the session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, dipped 2.4 basis points to 1.909 percent.

Looking Ahead

A report on consumer price inflation may attract some attention on Wednesday along with Congressional testimony from Federal Reserve Jerome Powell.

Trump renewed his attacks on the Fed during his remarks, claiming the economy and the markets would be even stronger if the central bank would take his advice and slash interest rates further.

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