S&P wobbles on fresh trade uncertainty; Disney lifts Dow

By Lewis Krauskopf (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and Nasdaq stock indexes slipped on Wednesday on fresh uncertainty over U.S.-China trade relations, while a jump in Walt Disney shares boosted the Dow. Stocks pulled back in afternoon trading after the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S.-China trade negotiations have hit a snag over farm purchases, the latest development in a dispute between the two countries that has convulsed markets for more than a year. The three indexes had all been up earlier in the session, with the Dow hitting a record high, before the Journal report

Reuters November 14, 2019 02:06:59 IST
S&P wobbles on fresh trade uncertainty; Disney lifts Dow

SP wobbles on fresh trade uncertainty Disney lifts Dow

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) - The S&P 500 and Nasdaq stock indexes slipped on Wednesday on fresh uncertainty over U.S.-China trade relations, while a jump in Walt Disney shares boosted the Dow.

Stocks pulled back in afternoon trading after the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S.-China trade negotiations have hit a snag over farm purchases, the latest development in a dispute between the two countries that has convulsed markets for more than a year.

The three indexes had all been up earlier in the session, with the Dow hitting a record high, before the Journal report. Stocks drifted higher after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said U.S. central bankers see a "sustained expansion" ahead for the country's economy.

Stocks have recently climbed to records, fuelled by Fed interest rate cuts, third-quarter earnings exceeding low expectations and signs the economy is bottoming, while the U.S.-China trade dispute remains a key wild card.

"After a nice run, we are getting a little bit of pullback," said Mona Mahajan, U.S. investment strategist with Allianz Global Investors.

"Part of that run was driven by U.S.-China trade perhaps thawing or starting to see some at least resolution or trade truce, so this headline that just broke is not great for that part of the story."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 53.81 points, or 0.19%, to 27,745.3, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 1.27 points, or 0.04%, to 3,090.57 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 16.71 points, or 0.2%, to 8,469.38.

Among the S&P 500 sectors, traditionally defensive groups such as utilities <.SPLRCU>, real estate <.SPLRCR> and consumer staples <.SPLRCS> were in positive territory, while cyclical sectors, such as energy <.SPNY> and materials <.SPLRCM> which are known for tracking the health of the economy, lagged.

"The leadership today is defensive," Mahajan said.

Walt Disney Co shares jumped 5.9% after the media company said its new streaming service, Disney+, reached 10 million sign-ups since launching the previous day. Disney shares provided the biggest boost to the Dow.

Shares of streaming rival Netflix Inc sank 2.9%.

SmileDirectClub Inc shares slumped 18.8% after the teeth alignment company reported a bigger quarterly loss.

About three-fourths of S&P 500 companies have topped earnings estimates in their third-quarter reports, but the companies are still expected to have posted an overall 0.5% decline in earnings, according to Refinitiv data.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.32-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.53-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 23 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 73 new highs and 103 new lows.

(Additional reporting by Arjun Panchadar and Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Bill Berkrot)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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