Retreat of the Deal. All three major U.S. stock indexes fell on Wednesday as Hong Kong has suddenly become a much bigger sticking point between the U.S. and China. Following the sharp setback on retail stocks Tuesday, the sector is embracing some better news from Target (ticker: TGT) and Lowe’s (LOW), as both reported better-than-expected earnings and raised the outlook for the year. In today’s After the Bell, we…
marvel at the stock market’s low volatility over the past month; wonder if a U.S.-China trade deal is still on the table for this year; and check on the latest document release from the Fed’s October meeting.
Month of Stability
Stocks declined on Wednesday as hopes for a partial trade deal by the end of this year waned. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen 112.93 points, or 0.40%, to close at 27,821.09. The S&P 500 is down 11.72 points, or 0.38%, to finish at 3108.46, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 43.93 points, or 0.51%, to close at 8526.73.
The market has been relatively steady over the past month, and the Cboe Volatility Index has remained below 15 since late October. The S&P 500 hasn’t lost 0.5% in a day in 31 trading days—the longest such stretch since the 50 trading days ended Nov. 14, 2017.
The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill on Tuesday in support of Hong Kong protesters. The legislation would require the Secretary of State to certify at least once a year that Hong Kong still retains sufficient autonomy to receive special U.S. trading consideration. Under the bill, the president is also required to sanction individuals involved with human-rights suppression in Hong Kong. The bill is expected to get a vote from the House on Wednesday and then approved by President Donald Trump. China threatened to