Dow Jones Industrial Average Slides as Trade Uncertainty Fuels Headlines

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is on the decline ahead of trade discussions between the United States and China. This is after an absolutely stunning period of overnight trading. Details below.

I've also got the latest on the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement.

But first, here are the numbers from Wednesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Index Previous Close Point Change Percentage Change
Dow Jones 26,346.01 +181.97 +0.70
S&P 500 2,919.40 +26.34 +0.91
Nasdaq 7,903.74 +79.96 +1.02

Now, here's a closer look at today's Money Morning insight, the most important market events, and stocks to watch.

The Top Stock Market Stories for Thursday

  • It's very clear that media around the globe are hearing different stories about the trade progress between the United States and China. The South China Morning Post reported that deputy level discussions this week have failed to make progress. The report also noted that China's Vice Premier Liu Hu plans to depart Washington a day early and that China will not discuss technology transfers. However, CNBC - citing the White House - said that these reports were inaccurate. Senior officials have said that Liu is set to depart on Friday after a delegation dinner scheduled for this evening. Tensions are very high and the stakes for a framework are even higher.

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  • In other trade news, Bloomberg has reported that the United States is considering a plan to suspend its planned tariff increase on China next week. Tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports are set to increase from 25% to 30% on Oct. 15. The White House also plans to add another 15% tariff on an additional $160 billion in Chinese goods on Dec. 15. Meanwhile, The New York Times reports that the Trump administration is considering a plan to make some concessions on the Huawei ban. It's very clear that the media's views are erratic and uncertain. Be sure to check back with me tomorrow as I dig deeper into the events and progress around trade.
  • Finally, lost in the shuffle is the news that the new United States, Mexico, Canada free trade agreement is now likely off the table for 2019. This morning, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said it would be a disaster for House Democrats to bring this new treaty to a vote this fall. The AFL-CIO is very upset about the lack of mechanisms to address Mexican labor standards in the deal. The news comes at the same time that General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) workers enter another week of their strike. It appears that the impeachment inquiry has sucked all of the goodwill out of Congress.

Stock to Watch Today: DAL, BA, PCG, HAL

  • Shares of Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) fell nearly 3% after the company reported earnings before the bell. The dip in the stock price came despite news that the firm topped profit estimates and air travel increased in the third quarter. The firm reported earnings per share of $2.32 versus estimates of $2.26. Revenue increased by 5% to $12.56 billion, a figure that was just under Wall Street estimates. The company does not fly the 737 Max jet, so it was not impacted by the ongoing grounding of the Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) jet.
  • Shares of PG&E Corp. (NYSE: PCG) are off 31% this morning after a bankruptcy judge announced the embattled utility can explore alternative restructuring plans. The news comes as the company plans to have electricity blackouts for several days across dozens of California counties. The company - and the state government - are seeking to prevent additional wildfires and the downing of power lines due to high winds. The blackouts will leave about 2 million people in the dark this week.
  • Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) is the latest company to announce more layoffs. The firm will slash 650 oilfield service jobs across Wyoming, New Mexico, Colorado, and North Dakota. The company cited weak oil prices and investor demands for higher returns as reasons for the layoffs. The new cuts come after the firm planned to slash 8% of its workforce earlier this year.
  • Look for additional earnings reports from International Speedway Corp. (NASDAQ: ISCA) and OMNOVA Solutions Inc. (NYSE: OMN).

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About the Author

Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.

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