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US open: Stocks turn red as impeachment charges set to be filed against Trump

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Thursday 05 Dec 2019

US open: Stocks turn red as impeachment charges set to be filed against Trump

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street trading began with losses on Thursday as financial markets digested the latest news around US-China trade relations and the ongoing impeachment proceedings against president Donald Trump.
As of 1530 GMT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.22% at 27,588.41, while the S&P 500 was 0.17% softer at 3,107.38 and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.19% weaker at 8,550.30.

The Dow opened 61.37 points lower on Thursday after seeing out the previous session higher as reports circulated that a trade deal between the US and China could be closer than previously thought.

Market participants were keeping a keen eye on global trade developments yet again on Thursday following news that Beijing and Washington were on the cusp of inking a "phase one" trade deal.

On Wednesday, Donald Trump had said that as far as he was concerned trade talks with China were going "very well", although just the day before, top officials from the US administration has again threatened to institute tariffs on another $156bn-worth of Chinese goods on 15 December if a trade agreement was not reached.

For its part, China reiterated a call for existing tariffs to be lowered if the crucial talks between Beijing and Washington were to continue.

Overnight, a Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman told reporters: "The Chinese side believes that if the two sides reach a phase one deal, tariffs should be lowered accordingly." He added that both sides continued to be in close communication, but did not expand further."

Also keeping the President and investors occupied on Thursday, speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House of Representatives would file impeachment charges against Trump for alleged abuse of power.

"Our democracy is what is at stake, the president leaves us no choice but to act," the top elected Democrat said.

On the data front, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, according to data from the Labor Department.

US initial jobless claims declined by 10,000 from the previous week's unrevised level to 203,000, beating expectations for an increase to 215,000. Meanwhile, the four-week moving average came in at 217,750, down 2,000 from the previous week's unrevised average.

Elsewhere, America's shortfall on trade with the rest of the world dropped sharply in October amid a down-draft in import demand.

According to the Department of Commerce, the US trade deficit in good and services shrank at a month-on-month pace of 7.6% to reach $47.2bn (consensus: $48.7bn).

Lastly, new orders for US-made goods bounced back in October after two consecutive monthly declines - buoyed by demand for machinery and transportation equipment.

However, gains appeared to be limited as a result of persistently weak business confidence.

Factory goods orders increased 0.3%, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. Data for September was revised down to show orders dropping 0.8% instead of the 0.6% previously reported.

In corporate news, Dollar General shares were up 1.27% after its latest quarterly figures, while jeweller Tiffany was down 0.14% at the bell after revealing it had taken sales hit in the third quarter.

DocuSign will post earnings after the close on Thursday.


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