U.S. stocks were mostly lower in another volatile session as reports of progress in U.S./China trade talks were partially offset by possible government shutdown concerns. Political turmoil looked to be one of many sources of market uneasiness, including Fed, tariff, and BREXIT worries. The U.S. dollar increased and Treasury yields were mostly higher while gold was down. Crude oil prices were higher after yesterday’s fall.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell 53 points (0.2%) to 24,370, the S&P 500 Index decreased 1 point to 2,637, and the NASDAQ Composite gained 11 points (0.2%) to 7,032. In heavy volume, 889 million shares were traded on the NYSE and 2.2 billion shares changed hands on the NASDAQ. WTI crude oil rose $0.71 to $51.71 per barrel and wholesale gasoline was up $0.02 at $1.44 per gallon. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price lost $1.92 to $1,242.55 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—rose 0.2% to 97.41.

The Producer Price Index (PPI) showed prices at the wholesale level in November nudged 0.1% higher month-over-month (m/m), compared to the Bloomberg forecast of a flat reading, and following October’s unrevised 0.6% rise. The core rate, which excludes food and energy, was up 0.3% m/m, versus expectations of a 0.1% gain, and after October’s unadjusted 0.5% increase. Y/Y, the headline rate was 2.5% higher, matching projections and coming in below October’s unrevised 2.9% gain. The core PPI rose 2.7% y/y last month, north of the estimated 2.5% increase and October’s unrevised 2.6% gain.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Optimism Index for November declined to 104.8, from the prior month’s unrevised 107.4 level, and versus expectations of a dip to 107.0.

Treasuries were mostly lower, with the yield on the 2-year note rising 4 basis points (bps) to 2.77%, the yield on the 10-year note increasing 2 bps to 2.87% and the 30-year bond rate down 1 basis point to 3.12%. The continued flattening of the yield curve and inversion of some short term yields compared to the 5-year has garnered market attention and fostered concerns,

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