U.S. stocks finished solidly lower after President Trump indicated that it may be better to wait until after the 2020 election to cement a U.S.-China trade deal. The disappointing delay comes just a day after an announcement that the President will likely reinstate tariffs on steel from Argentina and Brazil and threats of increased tariffs on French goods in retaliation for a French tax aimed at U.S. big tech. Global equites joined the U.S. in finishing mostly lower. Treasury yields fell and took the U.S. dollar with them, while gold rose. Crude oil continued its recent rally. On the equity front, UnitedHealth Group raised its guidance and there were a couple of mergers announced. Cleveland-Cliffs agreed to acquire AK Steel and Audentes Therapeutics announce it will be acquired by Japanese pharmaceutical company Astellas Pharma.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell 280 points (1.0%) to 27,502, the S&P 500 Index shed 21 points (0.7%) to 3,093, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 47 points (0.6%) to 8,521. In moderate volume, 859 million shares were traded on the NYSE and 2.2 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. WTI crude oil increased $0.14 to $56.10 per barrel and wholesale gasoline was off $0.01 at $1.56 per gallon. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price was up $13.80 to $1,468.90 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—ticked 0.1% lower to 97.74.
Treasuries were up solidly, as the weakness in equites sparked a bull-flattener, in which longer term yields fall more than shorter term yields. The yield on the 2-year note is was 7 basis points (bps) lower at 1.53%, while the yields on the 10-year note and the 30-year bond fell 10 bps and to 1.70% and 2.15%, respectively.
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