Stocks pressured as Trump’s State of the Union offers few details on economic agenda

Stocks were pressured Wednesday, threatening to snap a five-day winning streak for the S&P 500, after President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address offered few details on his economic agenda. The president, however, insisted China commit real, structural reforms before a trade deal can be reached.

What are major indexes doing?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.08% trimmed losses to edge up 4 points to 25,414, while the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.26%  shed 4 points, or 0.2%, to 2,733. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.40% fell 19 points, or 0.3%, at 7,382.

What’s driving 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.”

In an interview with CNBC Wednesday morning, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin 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.

Read: Trump stops short of border emergency and omits infrastructure details in State of the Union

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.


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