By Teresa Rivas Sept. 12, 2018 5:12 p.m. ET
Trade Tango. Wednesday morning’s doldrums were quickly forgotten as stocks gained steam on renewed hopes of trade negotiations between the U.S. and China. However, more semiconductor weakness and an underwhelming event from Apple(AAPL) kept tech stocks in the red. In today’s After the Bell, we….
parse trade hopes; hypothesize about interest rates, and; cringe at Micron Technology’s(MU) slide.
Hope Springs Eternal
Stocks skipped ahead on Wednesday as investors cheered news that the U.S. and China will try again to find a way forward on trade.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 27.86 points, or 0.11%, to 25,998.92 while the S&P 500 rose 1.03 points, or 0.04%, to 2888.92 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 18.24 points, or 0.23%, to 7954.23.
A positive outcome on tariffs couldn’t come at a better time. This afternoon, before the close, the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book revealed pockets of weaker growth, and trade was one of the main culprits. Along with worker shortages, additional tariffs were a major concern for businesses, the report noted, as three of the Fed’s 12 districts (Kansas City, Philadelphia, and St. Louis) reported weaker growth. East Coast ports haven’t been hurt by the trade restrictions, but are still worried, as long-lead times on shipping mean that the pain could still be coming. Any resolution to the ongoing trade spat would remove an overhang that investors would love to see disappear, even if it’s affecting overseas markets much more than home.
Still, the Beige Book probably pleased some, especially when taken with this morning’s producer price index reading, (which showed inflation looking largely