U.S. Stocks Waver, Awaiting Trade Developments -- Update

Date : 11/18/2019 @ 5:27PM
Source : Dow Jones News

U.S. Stocks Waver, Awaiting Trade Developments -- Update

By Caitlin Ostroff and Akane Otani 

U.S. stocks drifted between small gains and losses Monday, kept in a narrow range by a dearth of economic data and earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 10 points, or less than 0.1%, to 28014. The S&P 500 declined less than 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite was off 0.1%.

Moves were muted after stocks finished at a fresh set of records Friday.

Energy shares led declines in the S&P 500, following crude oil prices lower.

Halliburton and Baker Hughes each lost at least 3%.

Meanwhile, shares of Xerox Holdings fell 0.3% after PC and printer maker HP rejected a $33 billion takeover offer. Estée Lauder added 0.9% after the beauty-products brand agreed to acquire Seoul-based Have & Be to expand its reach in the Asia-Pacific region.

Later this week, investors say they will be looking out for minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting, as well as fresh data on consumer confidence and the manufacturing sector.

Stocks around the world have managed to push out double-digit gains this year, thanks in part to an easing of monetary policy by central banks, and more recently, signs that trade tensions between the U.S. and China are de-escalating.

China's state media Xinhua reported that senior officials from both nations had "constructive discussions" on Saturday morning regarding each other's concerns about a "phase one" deal.

Still, many investors say they are skeptical the two countries are close to a full resolution of their trade conflict. Talks between the world's two largest economies have hit snags in recent weeks over China's reluctance to commit to specific targets for purchases of U.S. agricultural goods, as well as Beijing's concerns about President Trump's willingness to lift existing tariffs.

"The key to everything we're seeing at the moment is the perception of uncertainty among investors," said Dan Kemp, chief investment officer for Morningstar Investment Management in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. "At the moment, we are living through a period where that uncertainty is very visible."

Over in Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index climbed 1.4% while the Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.6%. China's central bank on Monday lowered its regular reverse repurchase rate for the first time since October 2015 in an effort to boost market confidence and bolster economic growth.

The pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 index ticked down 0.1%, with the real estate and utilities sectors among the best-performing groups for the day.

The pound gained 0.6% against the U.S. dollar as weekend opinion polls showed that U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's party has the highest level of support since 2017. Mr. Johnson also said that all the Conservative Party candidates have pledged to vote for his Brexit deal if he wins a majority in the Dec. 12 election.

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


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 18, 2019 12:12 ET (17:12 GMT)

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

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