Dow Slips 52 Points Because Trade Talks Loom Large

Michael Haddad

Another flat day. U.S. stocks ended the Monday session relatively unchanged, with all three indexes wandering around the break-even line. Investors are watching the ongoing U.S.-China trade talks in Beijing, while a possible Trump-Xi meeting is reportedly happening next month. Talks on border security funding continues, but another government shutdown seems inevitable. In today’s After the Bell, we…

wonder whether a trade deal could actually benefit U.S. stocks; look into the likelihood of another government shutdown; and explain why a weaker global economy and stronger dollar can hurt companies and stocks.

Many Deadlines to Hit

Market is in stalemate on Monday. Investors are waiting for a number of political events to move forward, as various deadlines–near or far–are approaching.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 53.22 points, or 0.2%, to close at 25,053.11. The S&P 500 added 1.92 points, or 0.07%, to end at 2709.8, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 9.71 points, or 0.13%, to close at 7307.90.

As China returns from a week-long celebration of the Lunar New Year, the trade talk will resume this week in Beijing. But investors fear that the two sides will not be able to reach agreement on the key structural issues before the scheduled tariff increase from the U.S.

Even if the negotiations end up with Chinese concessions on trade deficit, it might not be good news for U.S. stocks. James Paulsen of the Leuthold Group noted that historically, when U.S. trade deficit worsens, American stocks have done better relative to the rest of the world. So if President Donald Trump wins the trade war

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