Stocks – Dow Drops as Government Shutdown Threat Offsets Trade Optimism


Stocks - Dow Drops as Government Shutdown Threat Offsets Trade Optimism – The Dow closed lower Tuesday as President Donald Trump’s threat to shut down the government if Congress doesn’t fund his proposed border wall offset optimism on trade.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.22%. The S&P 500 fell 0.04%, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.16%.

“If we don’t get what we want, one way or the other, whether it’s through you, through military, through anything you want to call, I will shut down the government,” Trump said Tuesday in meeting with Democratic leaders Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi where the media was present.

That wiped out Tuesday’s early gains, which had followed improved sentiment on trade amid reports China had agreed to cut its U.S. auto import tariff rate to 15% from 40%, but it remains unknown when the change would go into effect.

Still, auto stocks rose on the report as General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) rose about 1%, while Ford (NYSE:F) closed up 0.2%.

Wall Street started the session on the front foot amid reports high-ranking U.S. and Chinese officials held a call to advance trade talks, raising hopes the two nations would be able to find a solution to their differences on trade during the 90-day ceasefire.

Tech also helped the broader market, led by chip stocks as Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO) continued to shine in the wake of its upbeat earnings release last week.

But Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) kept a lid on gains in semis on a Bloomberg report that Softbank was planning to offload its stake in the chipmaker. No final decision has been made and Softbank may opt to keep its stake or sell only part of it, Bloomberg said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Energy stocks, meanwhile, struggled for gains, even as oil prices pared losses from a day earlier, underpinned by an production outage in Libya.

In a sign of skittish sentiment, traders took shelter in defensive corners of the market like consumer staples, which rose 1%.

Financials were abandoned for the second straight day, falling more than 1% on the back of ongoing weakness in bank stocks amid concerns over slowing economic growth and expectations for a slowdown in Fed rate hikes.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) fell 1.5%, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) fell 1%.

Top S&P 500 Gainers and Losers Today:

Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO), Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) and Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) were among the top S&P 500 gainers for the session.

Fluor (NYSE:FLR), National Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV) and Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) were among the worst S&P 500 performers of the session.

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