U.S. stocks moved slightly lower on Wall Street Tuesday as President Donald Trump ramped up criticism of China just as negotiators began a new round of trade talks.
The latest tweets injected anxiety into the markets in an already busy week. Investors are closely watching the ongoing trade negotiations as well as a heavy flow of corporate earnings. Other key events this week include a Federal Reserve meeting that is expected to result in a rate cut on Wednesday and a government jobs report on Friday.
Technology and health care stocks led the market lower. Apple, which reports its financial results after the market closes Tuesday, fell 0.7%. Pfizer slid 5.1% a day after it announced a deal with Mylan. Capital One fell 7% after reporting a data breach.
Investors shifted money into less risky holdings. Procter & Gamble led consumer products makers higher after reporting results that easily beat Wall Street’s forecasts.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 0.2% as of 11:30 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 26.9 points, or 0.1%, to 27,195. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.3%.
TRADE TROUBLES: The lingering trade war between the U.S. and China has been cutting into corporate profit for some industries all year and has investors concerned that it will continue to crimp business investment and growth. Delegates from the U.S. and China are meeting in Shanghai this week in the latest round of negotiations, months after the trade spat escalated with more tariffs.
In a series of tweets, Trump accused China of trying to hold off on an agreement until after the next U.S. elections. Trump threatened to get “much tougher” with China on trade if he wins in 2020.
OVERSEAS: European stocks fell sharply. Germany’s DAX tumbled 2% and France’s CAC-40 fell 1.7%. The FTSE 100 in London held up better, down just 0.3% as the value of the pound fell to its lowest level in more than two years, which helps British exporters. The currency is falling over concerns that Britain’s economy will suffer if it crashes out of the European Union without a deal.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The broader market is pulling back from record highs last week, but indexes are still poised to close July with solid gains. The S&P 500 is up 2.4% for the month and the Nasdaq is up 3.3%. The Dow is up 2.2%.
THE GOODS: Procter & Gamble rose 4.5% after the consumer goods company solidly beat profit and revenue forecasts for the fourth quarter. The maker of Charmin toilet paper and Tide laundry detergent reported growth in almost every category, including its key home care and beauty products segment.
WHAT’S IN YOUR DATA? Capital One Financial fell 6.9% after the bank said a hacker gained access to the personal information of more than 100 million people.
WEAK ARMOR: Under Armour plunged 13.4% after the sports apparel company’s revenue fell short of Wall Street forecasts. It also expects a slight sales decline in North America this year and its overall profit forecast for 2019 is weaker than analyst forecasts.
STILL HUNGRY: Beyond Meat fell 4.9% after the plant-based burger maker reported a bigger loss than Wall Street anticipated during the second quarter and announced a stock sale. The loss and secondary stock offering overshadowed solid sales results and an increased sales forecast.
DULL BITS: McDermott International plunged 39.1% after the offshore drilling company slashed its financial forecast and told investors it will register a loss in 2019. The company cited weak operating results during the second quarter and lower revenue as key factors for the shift.
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