Stock futures search for direction as trade dispute escalates

The US made good on its promise to add another round of tariffs on $16 billion worth of China imports.

China quickly countered and raised tariffs on the same amount of US goods.

That makes it $50 billion worth of imports subjected to tariffs on either side since early July, and more are in the pipeline, adding to risks for global economic growth.

Dow Jones futures added 0.02%, S&P 500 tacked on 0.01% and Nasdaq futures was off 0.09%.

The tariffs took effect while US and Chinese officials hold two days of talks in Washington.

In Asian market trading, China’s Shanghai Composite shook-off the latest tit-for-tat swap of tariffs to finish the session higher by 0.4%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed the day down 0.5% and Japan’s Nikkei ended the day up 0.2%.

In Europe, London’s FTSE gained 0.02%, Germany’s DAX ticked slightly lower at 0.02% and France’s CAC added 0.15%.

U.S. stocks closed mixed in a tight range Wednesday, as the market extended its bull run into record territory.

The bull market turned 3,453 days old on Wednesday, and over this period the index rallied more than 300 percent.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average ended modestly lower by 88.69 at 25,733.60, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite edged up 29.92 to 7,889.10. The broader S&P 500 index slipped 1.14 to 2,861.82.

Stocks had opened slightly lower on the day after two associates of President Trump were convicted. Late Tuesday, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty on eight charges, including tax fraud. Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen pled guilty to campaign-finance violations and other charges.

The Fed released minutes from the latest meeting of its interest-rate setting committee, indicating the U.S. central bank is likely to raise rates next month.

On Thursday’s economic agenda, traders will get the latest data on new home sales and the weekly jobless claims report.

Leave a reply