Stocks Inch Lower On Trade Deal Doubts

Wall Street also exercised caution ahead of earnings season

Deputy Editor
Oct 14, 2019 at 4:33 PM
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Stocks finished a relatively quiet session lower today, after trading on both sides of breakeven amid waning optimism over Friday's partial trade deal between Beijing and Washington. Reports emerged that China wishes to continue trade talks before finalizing the "phase one" deal, which would require China to purchase up to $50 billion in agricultural goods from the U.S., among other stipulations. Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said another round of tariffs on Chinese goods will go into effect in December, if a deal hasn't been reached.

A fast-approaching earnings season was also on investors' minds today, with a round of bank names set to report tomorrow. Against this backdrop, the Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq finished marginally lower.  

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 26,787.36) fell 29.2 points, or 0.1%. 3M Company (MMM) was the best of the 10 gainers on a 1.5% pop, while Cisco Systems (CSCO) fell to the bottom of the index on a 1.1% loss. Coca-Cola (KO) ended flat.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,966.15) settled 4.1 points, or 0.1%, lower, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 8,048.65) lost 8.4 points, or 0.1%. 

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 14.57) fell 1 point, or 6.5%.

Closing Indexes Summary Oct 14NYSE and Nasdaq Stats Oct 14

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Uber (UBER) announced today that it will be cutting about 350 positions in its Uber Eats and self-driving divisions, among others, per an email from the company's CEO. This will be the third round of layoffs since August. (CNBC)
  2. Authentic Brands is reportedly in talks to buy Barneys New York for $270 million. The buyout would include licensing the bankrupt company's name to Saks Fifth Avenue, which would open some Barney's stores in some of its own stores, and take over the website. (MarketWatch)
  3. Options bulls swarmed VNET stock on BABA deal.  
  4. Analysts bet on big upside for these 2 Wall Street rookies.
  5. Fifth Third stock getting a boost on a pre-earnings bull note. 

There are no earnings of note today.

Unusual Options Activity Oct 14

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Gold Pops, Oil Drops on Trade Doubts

Oil turned lower today, as U.S.-China trade anxieties resurfaced. November-dated crude futures lost $1.11, or 2%, to settle at $53.59 a barrel. 

Gold recovered today as investors turned back to the safe haven amid skepticism regarding a partial U.S.-China trade deal. Gold futures for December delivery tacked on $8.90, or 0.6%, to end at $1,497.60 per ounce.

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