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US close: Markets finish lower after choppy, trade-focussed session

By Josh White

Date: Tuesday 10 Dec 2019

US close: Markets finish lower after choppy, trade-focussed session

(Sharecast News) - US stocks finished below the waterline after a choppy session on Tuesday as market participants remained glued to their screens for any hint of fresh developments in the ongoing US-China trade war.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the session down 0.1% at 27.881.72, the S&P 500 lost 0.11% to 3,132.52, and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.07% weaker at 8,616.18.

At the open, the Dow was 7.94 points higher, as investors mulled over reports that the US may be looking to postpone the implementation of a $156bn-worth of additional tariffs on China that were scheduled to go into effect on the following Sunday.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the US planned to delay slapping China with further tariffs in order to work out a so-called "phase one" trade deal.

"The venerated financial outlet claims that Beijing and Washington are laying the groundwork to delay Sunday's tariff attack, giving both nations more time to haggle over their respective red lines," said SpreadEx analyst Connor Campbell.

"That'd be rolling back existing tariffs for China, and the mass purchasing of American farm products for the US."

Campbell said that, although it was not the agreement the markets were "so desperate for", kicking the metaphorical can down the road would still be better than nothing.

"Even if it does come with the knowledge that we have been here before, and it has only ever ended with the eventual imposition of the delayed tariffs."

However, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told the Journal's CEO Council summit during the session that the 15% tariffs were "still on the table", and could still kick in on 15 December.

That saw sentiment bounce all over the place through much of the session, with the South China Morning Post pouring its own cold water on investor hopes, claiming China and the US were unlikely to reach a trade deal during the current week, citing sources close to the talks between the two nations.

Investors were also looking ahead to the Federal Reserve's two-day meeting, set to conclude on Wednesday, with the central bank expected to keep interest rates steady, although analysts were curious to see if the latest very strong jobs data would be reflected in policymakers' forecasts for the economy.

On the data front, the National Federation of Independent Business' small business optimism survey rose 2.3 points in November to a four-month high of 104.7 - topping estimates of 103.

The figure marked the biggest climb in more than twelve months as more owners said profit trends appeared to be looking up amidst a favourable time for expansion.

Elsewhere, the productivity of American workers dipped during the third quarter, but unit labour costs rose by less than previously thought, revised data showed.

According to the Department of Labor, non-farm labour productivity in the States shrank at a quarterly annualised pace of 0.2% over the three months to September, against consensus forecasts for a drop of 0.1%, as output per hour lagged the increase in the number of hours worked.

On the corporate front, Netflix shares finished the day down 3.1%, after analysts at Needham downgraded the video streaming giant to 'underperform' from 'hold' amid expectations it could lose millions of subscribers to new competitors.

Automotive parts retailer AutoZone gained 6.73% by the closing bell, after it beat estimates for its first quarter, while Designer Brands plunged 16.44%, after the footwear retailer missed expectations for its third quarter profit, and cut its guidance.

Smart exercise equipment maker Peloton Interactive was off 5.72% after short seller Citron Research released a negative report into the firm.

Dow Jones - Risers

Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $279.52 0.71%
Apple Inc. (AAPL) $268.48 0.58%
Chevron Corp. (CVX) $117.89 0.50%
Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) $44.10 0.46%
Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) $89.10 0.43%
Pfizer Inc. (PFE) $38.48 0.42%
Nike Inc. (NKE) $97.01 0.39%
American Express Co. (AXP) $120.90 0.37%
Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) $61.23 0.36%
McDonald's Corp. (MCD) $194.95 0.14%

Dow Jones - Fallers

3M Co. (MMM) $167.66 -1.28%
Boeing Co. (BA) $347.90 -0.94%
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) $69.06 -0.86%
United Technologies Corp. (UTX) $145.37 -0.58%
Coca-Cola Co. (KO) $53.77 -0.55%
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) $58.41 -0.51%
Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) $124.27 -0.48%
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) $140.01 -0.36%
Visa Inc. (V) $182.26 -0.36%
Home Depot Inc. (HD) $215.90 -0.29%

S&P 500 - Risers

AutoZone Inc. (AZO) $1,250.20 6.93%
NortonLifeLock Inc. (NLOK) $26.28 3.46%
Advance Auto Parts (AAP) $156.17 3.03%
Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI) $55.94 2.85%
Expedia Group Inc. (EXPE) $111.85 2.80%
L Brands Inc (LB) $17.83 2.53%
Western Digital Corp. (WDC) $49.24 2.46%
Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) $94.57 2.22%
Micron Technology Inc. (MU) $47.46 2.17%
Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (TTWO) $122.29 1.86%

S&P 500 - Fallers

Franklin Resources Inc. (BEN) $25.84 -4.37%
Mohawk Inds Inc. (MHK) $133.55 -3.85%
Netflix Inc. (NFLX) $293.12 -3.10%
CF Industries Holdings Inc. (CF) $44.02 -3.04%
Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) $22.45 -2.88%
Rollins Inc. (ROL) $33.68 -2.69%
Mosaic Company (MOS) $18.25 -2.61%
Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) $42.77 -2.55%
International Paper Co. (IP) $46.25 -2.47%
CVS Health Corp (CVS) $73.18 -2.41%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers

NortonLifeLock Inc. (NLOK) $26.28 3.46%
Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI) $55.94 2.85%
Expedia Group Inc. (EXPE) $111.85 2.80%
Liberty Global plc Series A (LBTYA) $22.17 2.76%
Tesla Inc (TSLA) $348.84 2.74%
Western Digital Corp. (WDC) $49.24 2.46%
Micron Technology Inc. (MU) $47.46 2.17%
Liberty Global plc Series C (LBTYK) $21.00 1.92%
Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (TTWO) $122.29 1.86%
Monster Beverage Corp (MNST) $61.51 1.69%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers

Qurate Retail Inc. (QRTEA) $8.18 -5.43%
Netflix Inc. (NFLX) $293.12 -3.10%
Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) $42.77 -2.55%
American Airlines Group (AAL) $27.00 -1.78%
Dollar Tree Inc (DLTR) $91.55 -1.77%
Mylan Inc. (MYL) $18.69 -1.71%
Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR) $461.71 -1.48%
Intuit Inc. (INTU) $252.32 -1.35%
J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. (JBHT) $112.97 -1.33%
Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. (CTSH) $61.10 -1.26%

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