Stocks closed lower Wednesday, with the S&P 500 snapping a five-day winning streak, after President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address offered few details on his economic agenda. The president, however, insisted China commit to real, structural economic reforms before a trade deal can be reached.
How did major indexes fare?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.08% slid 21.22 points to 25,390.30, while the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.22% shed 6.08 points, or 0.2%, to 2,731.62, and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.36% fell 26.80 points, or 0.4%, at 7,375.28.
What drove the market?
In his speech to the nation Tuesday night, Trump said he had “great respect” for Chinese President Xi Jinping, adding that the two leaders are working on a new trade deal, while insisting that any agreement “include real, structural change to end unfair trade practices, reduce our chronic trade deficit and protect American jobs.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, during an interview with CNBC on Wednesday, confirmed that he and U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer will travel to Beijing next week to continue negotiations over the continuing trade dispute, as the administration-imposed March 1 deadline for a deal approaches, after which the president has threatened to expand tariffs on Chinese imports.
Trump reiterated a call for an infrastructure plan, but unlike last year didn’t put a price tag on it. The president also vowed to build a proposed border wall, but stopped short of declaring a national emergency. The markets are paying close attention to negotiations around the wall, with a stopgap compromise that reopened the government last month after a 35-day partial shutdown due to run out in about a week and a half.