Possible Delay in Trade Talks Drives Stocks Downward

Stocks stateside went into negative territory on Wednesday after report said President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping likely won’t meet to sign a trade deal until December.

The Dow Jones Industrials saw its rally of recent days cool off 28.13 points from Tuesday’s all-time record, to 27,464.50,

The S&P 500 slipped 4.17 points to 3,070.45

The NASDAQ fell 40.45 points, to 8,394.23, as big tech including Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook all underperformed.

Even so, the Dow’s year-to-date gain now stands at nearly 18% after rallying 3.3% in the past month. The S&P 500 is up more than 22% this year after surging 4% in the past month.

The meeting between Trump and Xi could reportedly be delayed as the two sides still need to decide on the terms and a venue. Media reports also said it’s still possible the two countries will not reach a trade pact.

HP surged more than 12% on Wednesday following a report that said Xerox has made a cash-and-stock offer for the personal-computer and printer maker. CVS Health rose 3.5% on stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings.

Qualcomm, Expedia, TripAdvisor, Fox Corp, and Papa John’s are among those due to report after the bell.

Corporate profits have been largely solid this earnings season as 75% of S&P 500 companies to report thus far have topped analysts’ expectations.

Stocks were also boosted by better-than-expected economic data. A gauge for U.S. services activities topped expectations for October, while the labour market remains solid as jobs creation easily beat estimate last month.

However, productivity south of the border dropped by the most since the fourth quarter of 2015 during the third quarter, the U.S. Labor Department said on Wednesday.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury eased up, lowering yields to 1.83% from Tuesday’s 1.85%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices lost 89 cents to $56.34 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices regained $10.80 to $1,494.50 U.S. an ounce.