Sunday tariffs weigh on US stocks

Business | 11 Dec 2019 10:27 am

US stocks edged lower on Tuesday ahead of a looming weekend deadline for trade talks between Washington and Beijing.

A new round of US tariffs is scheduled to take effect on Chinese goods Sunday. But media reports suggested the US may delay the tariffs on phones, laptops and other popular products as the two sides negotiate a limited “phase one” deal.

The S&P 500 flipped repeatedly between small gains and losses throughout the day, and the market was nearly evenly split between losers and winners as markets await more certainty about what the rules of global trade will be. Losses for Comcast, Netflix and other communications companies weighed most heavily on the market, but gains for health care and energy stocks helped limit the damage.

The S&P 500 slipped by 3.44 points, or 0.1 percent, to 3,132.52. It earlier swung between a gain of 0.2 percent and a loss of 0.3 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 27.88, or 0.1 percent, to 27,881.72, and the Nasdaq composite fell by 5.64, or 0.1 percent, at 8,616.18. The Russell 2000 index of smaller stocks was an outlier and added 2.10 points, or 0.1 percent at 1,631.71.

Sunday’s deadline is not the only big potential event for markets in the coming days. The Federal Reserve and European Central Bank will make decisions on interest rate policy this week. Big moves by both of them earlier this year helped send prices for stocks and bonds around the world surging. A report will also arrive Wednesday on inflation in the United States, which is key because tame inflation has allowed the Fed to keep interest rates low.-AP


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