U.S. Stocks Inch Lower in Quiet Session

Date : 10/14/2019 @ 8:48PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : FTSE 100 Index (UKX)
Quote : 7328.54  -30.84 (-0.42%) @ 4:35PM

U.S. Stocks Inch Lower in Quiet Session

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By Caitlin Ostroff and Akane Otani 

U.S. stocks inched lower Monday, kept in a narrow range by thin trading volumes ahead of the start of third-quarter earnings season.

Markets were quiet with many banks and fixed-income desks shut in observance of Columbus Day. When regular trading activity resumes Tuesday, analysts say the focus will shift to earnings reports from companies including Goldman Sachs Group and Citigroup, as well as developments on the U.S.-China trade front.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 29.23 points, or 0.1%, to 26787.36. The S&P 500 edged down 4.12 points, or 0.1%, to 2966.15 and the Nasdaq Composite declined 8.39 points, or 0.1%, to 8048.65.

Signs of progress between the two countries had helped stocks rally at the end of last week. Yet many investors have noted that details on key issues like intellectual property have remained elusive, and that a deal may still collapse. Adding to investors' skepticism, state-run publications in China have had a much more measured tone in describing the two countries' preliminary agreement, analysts said.

"At the end of the day, all that happened on Friday was the tariffs were postponed," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets. The U.S. is still poised to impose an additional round of tariffs starting mid-December.

U.S. crude for November delivery fell 2% to $53.59 a barrel, with some analysts attributing the declines to waning hopes for a solid U.S.-China trade deal.

That put pressure on some energy shares, with Cimarex Energy losing 66 cents, or 1.5%, to $44.66 and Devon Energy falling 31 cents, or 1.5%, to $20.95.

Meanwhile, corporate news drove some swings among individual stocks.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise jumped 60 cents, or 4.2%, to $14.95 after Evercore ISI analysts upgraded their rating for the stock to "in-line" from "underperform."

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.5% after weekend talks between European Union and British negotiators, who face a deadline this week to reach a deal on Brexit, failed to yield a breakthrough. Diplomats said even the outline of a deal looked difficult to clinch, given the gap between the sides and the complexity of the issues.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index dropped 0.5%.

Stocks in Asia, which ended trading Friday before President Trump said the U.S. and China had completed the early stages of a deal, rallied.

The Shanghai Composite gauge advanced 1.2%, while the benchmark Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong rose 0.8%.

Joanne Chiu contributed to this article

Write to Caitlin Ostroff at caitlin.ostroff@wsj.com and Akane Otani at akane.otani@wsj.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 14, 2019 16:33 ET (20:33 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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