Stocks Fall After Trump's China Comments

The president is doubtful that trade negotiations will be successful

May 17, 2018 at 4:31 PM
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Stocks traded on both sides of breakeven today, but ultimately closed the session lower following pessimistic comments from President Donald Trump on trade. The president told reporters today that he doubts trade negotiations with China will be successful, saying the Asian nation "has become very spoiled." Investors also reacted to the latest round of corporate earnings, including quarterly results from Dow components Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Walmart (WMT), on top of more strength out of the energy sector. But even as equities struggled for upside, the VIX ended flat, and gold prices had their worst close of the year on the back of a stronger dollar and rising Treasury yields.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 24,713.98) experienced up-and-down price action, eventually settling with a 55-point, or 0.2%, defeat. Looking at the 30 Dow components, Coca-Cola (KO) stock led the 12 gainers with its 1.8% advance, and the biggest of the 11 losers was Cisco, dropping 3.7% after earnings. General Electric closed flat.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,720.13) fell 2.3 points, or 0.1%, and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,382.47) gave back 15.8 points, or 0.2%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 13.34) added 0.1 point, or 0.1%.

Closing Indexes May 17

NYSE and Nasdaq May 17

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. As part of his case against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, Special Counsel Robert Mueller filed an unredacted memo, under seal, that supposedly details the extent of his investigation into the connection between Russia and the Trump campaign. The judge presiding over the case is considering whether or not to dismiss the charges against Manafort. (Reuters)
  2. The birthrate in the U.S. continues to fall, with the fewest number of babies born since 1978 in 2017. Women in their 40s were the only age group to show an increase in birthrate during the year, according to Center of Disease Control (CDC) data. (National Public Radio)
  3. Bullish signal points to new highs for Shake Shack.
  4. Ahead of earnings, Deere stock was targeted for a low-risk options trade.
  5. How subscribers doubled their money on this tech giant.

Corporate Earnings Chart May 17

Unusual Options Activity May 17

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Gold Prices Fall Again

Despite a big day for energy stocks, oil prices failed to gain momentum. In fact, June-dated crude futures settled flat at $71.49 per barrel. Earlier in the day, Brent crude topped $80 per barrel, touching its highest point since November 2014.

Gold fell to its lowest close of the year today, as traders eyed a higher dollar and rising Treasury yields. June-dated gold futures dropped $2.10, or 0.2%, to $1,289.40 per ounce.

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