U.S. stocks fell in choppy trading on Thursday as uncertainty over the outcome of a high-stakes meeting between the United States and China at the upcoming G20 Summit kept investors on the sidelines.
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., November 29, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
President Donald Trump sent conflicting signals on a potential trade deal with China after he said Washington was close to making a deal but is not sure he wants to do it and likes where things stand now.
Adding to the woes, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, who has advocated a tough stance against China, would be attending the attending G20 summit, a source told Reuters.
There is so much conflicting commentary from the administration that something definitive has to happen for the market to really get excited about it,” said Michael Antonelli, managing director, institutional sales trading at Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee.
“The market is tense and waiting for some type of hint that we are closer to a resolution.”
The fall in markets comes a day after Wall Street’s main indexes rallied to close more than 2 percent higher on a dovish tone by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.
He said the policy rate is now “just below” so-called neutral rate, comments that markets read as signs of Fed’s tightening cycle drawing to a close.
Ten of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were in the red, with the rate sensitive financials sector .SPSY falling 0.68 percent.
The Fed is set to release its minutes from its Nov.7-8 policy meeting at 2:00 p.m. ET, which could offer more clues on the path of future rate hikes.
At 11:43 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was down 72.05 points, or 0.28 percent, at 25,294.38, the S&P 500 .SPX was down 8.76 points, or 0.32 percent, at 2,735.03 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 25.67 points, or 0.35 percent, at 7,265.93