Dow Turns Negative as U.S.-China Trade Talk Progress Isn’t Enough to Keep Gains


Stocks rose Tuesday, Dec. 11, but came off earlier highs as investors reacted to progress in U.S.-China trade talks but remained jittery about the ongoing political chaos surrounding Britain’s Brexit vote.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 79 points, or 0.32%, to 24,480, the S&P 500 fell 0.12%, and the Nasdaq was up 0.15%. Leading the Dow higher were Nike Inc. (NKE) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) .

China’s chief trade negotiator, Liu He, spoke with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer by phone Monday night, China’s Commerce Ministry said in a statement, and agreed to work toward the framework of talks set during the G-20 leaders’ summit in Argentina.

“Both sides exchanged views on putting into effect the consensus reached by the two countries’ leaders at their meeting, and pushing forward the timetable and road map for the next stage of economic and trade consultations work,” the ministry said.

Donald Trump said in a tweet on Tuesday that conversations with China were “very productive.”

Very productive conversations going on with China! Watch for some important announcements!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 11, 2018

Meanwhile, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May was left fighting for her political life Tuesday as she began a series of 11th-hour pleas to EU leaders for further assurances on a Brexit deal that has little support at home and little desire from change from Brussels. May called off a key parliamentary vote on Brexit that was scheduled for Tuesday because she knew the deal would have been rejected.

The Producer Price Index for November rose 0.1%, topping economists’ estimates that called for no change in wholesale inflation. Core PPI, which strips out food and energy costs, rose 0.3%. PPI over the past year slowed to 2.5% from 2.9%.

Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) announced Tuesday that the cost of its employee buyout plan will range between $1.8 billion and $2.1 billion and will be recorded in the fourth quarter. In addition, Verizon said it would record a goodwill impairment charge of $4.6 billion at Oath, the company’s media business, following a review of the operation.

Shares of Verizon rose 1.1%. 

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) shares fell 1.7% to $43.66 on Tuesday after analysts at JPMorgan lowered their rating on the drugmaker amid concerns over the loss of exclusivity on one of its key pain treatments.

Under Armour Inc. (UAA)   rose 1.3% after it ousted two sports-marketing executives who were long-time associates of CEO Kevin Plank, The Wall Street Journal reported, after the apparel brand conducted an internal review of their department’s spending.

Ryan Kuehl, senior vice president of global sports marketing, and Walker Jones, senior director of sports marketing, were both removed from their roles last week, people familiar with the matter told the Journal. Management questioned the way the two men had been running the sports-marketing department and whether some of their spending was appropriate, some of the people told the Journal.

Stitch Fix Inc. (SFIX) tumbled 28.7% on Tuesday after its client growth disappointed Wall Street.

Stitch Fix said it had 2.9 million active clients in its fiscal first quarter using its subscription clothing services, an increase of 22%, but below analysts’ forecasts of 2.95 million. The company also said its active client count would remain relatively flat in its fiscal second quarter from the first quarter.

DSW Inc. (DSW) jumped 7.7% after the shoe retailer posted fiscal third-quarter earnings that topped forecasts and the company lifted guidance for the full year.

2018-12-11 17:19:00

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