Wall St. flat as trade optimism wanes, earnings in focus
By Arjun Panchadar and Sagarika Jaisinghani (Reuters) - U.S. stocks paused on Monday after three sessions of gains as a lack of clarity over the first phase of a U.S.-China trade deal weighed on sentiment, while investors geared up for the third-quarter earnings season
By Arjun Panchadar and Sagarika Jaisinghani
(Reuters) - U.S. stocks paused on Monday after three sessions of gains as a lack of clarity over the first phase of a U.S.-China trade deal weighed on sentiment, while investors geared up for the third-quarter earnings season.
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones indexes had ended Friday with their first weekly gain in a month after Washington signalled the two sides had taken a major step in easing the tit-for-tat measures that have hammered global growth this year.
President Donald Trump, however, acknowledged that the agreement could still collapse, while Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Monday he had "every expectation" that if a U.S.-China trade deal was not in place by Dec. 15, additional tariffs would be imposed.
"Investors are trying to wrap their head around this 'non deal'," said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.
"If (the market) was really sceptical, it would be selling off a lot harder. But it's not because there are some good points to it - that they are still talking and potentially reaching a deal."
Financial markets had a rocky start to the month on signs of escalating trade tensions, slowing global economic growth and rising geopolitical risks. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones indexes are off about 0.3% so far this month, reversing a gain of about 2% for September.
Sectors considered stable during times of economic uncertainties such as utilities <.SPLRCU> and consumer staples <.SPLRCS> were the top decliners among the S&P sectors.
Investors will now keep a close watch on the earnings season to gauge the impact of the trade conflict and a sluggish domestic economy on corporate America.
The reporting season kicks off on Tuesday, with the big U.S. banks expected to report a 1.2% decline in earnings due to falling interest rates, a raft of unsuccessful stock market floatation and trade tensions.
Overall, analysts are forecasting a 3.2% decline in profit for S&P 500 companies for the quarter from a year earlier, based on IBES data from Refinitiv.
At 12:54 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was up 16.34 points, or 0.06%, at 26,832.93, boosted by shares in 3M
The S&P 500 <.SPX> was down 2.63 points, or 0.09%, at 2,967.64 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> was down 6.70 points, or 0.08%, at 8,050.34.
Among individual stocks, Beyond Meat Inc
Nike rose 1% after Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded the stock to "neutral" from "underperform".
Shares of U.S. construction and engineering company AECOM
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.36-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.54-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded two new 52-week highs and three new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 14 new highs and 90 new lows.
(Additional reporting by Medha Singh and Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
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