Stocks Fall Slightly on Tariff Day Suspense

Stocks dipped on Tuesday as a looming U.S.-China trade deadline dampened investor sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrials finished in the red 27.88 points to 27,881.72

The S&P 500 edged lower 3.44 points to 3,132.52

The NASDAQ wilted 5.64 points to 8,616.18, dragged down by Netflix. The video streamer fell 3.1% after an analyst at Needham downgraded it to underperform from hold.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the U.S. plans to delay slapping China with additional tariffs as both sides try to work out a so-called phase one trade deal. A deadline for the two countries had been set for Dec. 15. If an agreement wasn’t reached by then, the new U.S. tariffs would take effect.

Investors also kept an eye on the Federal Reserve as the central bank kicks off its last two-day monetary policy meeting of the year. The Fed is expected to hold rates steady.

Prices for the 10-Year U.S. Treasury lost a bit of ground, raising yields to 1.84% from Monday’s 1.83%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices nicked up 30 cents at $59.32 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices improved four dollars at $1,468.90 U.S. an ounce.