S&P, Dow open lower as banks weigh

Daniel Fowler
January 15, 2020

Several large banks were among the companies that kicked off the latest earnings season on Wall Street Tuesday. Microsoft was also higher. The bank's stock slumped 5.4 percent as its profit and revenue dropped because of hefty costs and lower interest rates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 37.87 points, or 0.13%, at the open to 28,901.80.

The Nasdaq composite slid 22.60 points, or 0.2%, to 9,251.33. The earlier AP story follows below.

The Russell 2000 is up 7.27 points, or 0.4%.

Markets had been given an upward impulse with the expectation that Chinese and American officials would sign a provisional trade agreement in Washington on Wednesday to prevent further escalation of tensions between the two largest economies. Punitive tariffs will remain on Chinese goods as talks continue. Apple shares also rose 2.1% to hit a record high.

Meanwhile, a report said the Trump government was preparing to propose a rule that would tighten the restrictions on United States technology sales to Huawei Technologies in China.

"It will be interesting to hear what corporate America thinks of the detail and, thankfully, we won't have to wait very long". The Shanghai Composite index gave up 0.5% to 3,090.04. "A 0.22% m/m rise would likely be enough for 2.4%; we have 0.21%". But the S&P ASX 200 climbed 0.5% and broke an intraday record high to 6,994.80.

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"People are optimistic about earnings and they're also relieved that the Iran situation last week didn't end up being worse than it was, and people are happy that China and the U.S. are coming together to sign the Phase 1 trade deal". The United States dropped its designation of China as a currency manipulator in advance of the signing.

Mnuchin said that was because the trade agreement contains a "fully enforceable" chapter on currency policy.

China has pledged to increase purchases of USA manufactured products, agricultural goods, energy and services as part of the deal, according to a report on Tuesday.

Wall Street expects corporate profits for S&P 500 companies in the last three months of 2019 to be down by 2 percent. The S&P and Nasdaq previously set new highs last Thursday.

Oil prices rocketed 73 cents to $58.31 US a barrel. Brent crude oil, the worldwide standard, gained 29 cents to $64.49. It earned 29 cents on Tuesday to $ 64.49 per barrel.

Gold, considered a safe haven during political and economic turmoil, rose last week to an nearly seven-year peak of $1,610.90 an ounce after a US drone strike killed a top Iranian commander in Baghdad and Iran launched missiles against USA troops in Iraq in retaliation.

The dollar rose to 109.93 Japanese yen from 109.54 yen on Friday. Goldman Sachs shares rose 1.3%.

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