Stocks – Trade Uncertainty Takes the Fizz out of Rally

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© Reuters. © Reuters. – Many investors want or expect stocks to move higher, but buyer reluctance took over the stock market on Wednesday.

The caution was caused in large part by news reports that the signing of a U.S.-China trade deal may be delayed until December, assuming a site for the signing can be chosen and the last details negotiated.

The finished up 2 points, and traded within a range of about 13 points. The were basically flat at 27,492.43, and the dropped 0.03%.

The number of stocks hitting 52-week highs fell to 117 on Wednesday from 285 on Tuesday.

The wrinkle in the trade deal was born out of Chile’s decision to cancel the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. It was to be held this month in Santiago until local protests about economic conditions turned nasty. The Trump Administration and the government of Chinese President Xi Jinping have been working on a new site, possibly in Sweden or Switzerland.

The final details of what is expected to be the first of several agreements are still being negotiated. A key detail for China is for the U.S. to scrap tariffs, due in December, on $156 billion in goods including cell phones, laptop computers and toys. It also wants relief on tariffs imposed in September on goods including machinery, semiconductors and furniture.

Meanwhile, health, real estate, consumer staples and financial stocks were the market leaders. Energy shares were lower as oil prices fell in response to the trade-deal news.

Interest rates also moved lower with the Treasury yield down to $1.812% from Tuiesday’s 1.865%. was up $9.40 to $1,493.10 in New York as some investors looked for safe havens.

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