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US Stocks mixed as trade deal optimism wanes
(15 Nov 2019, 09:50)
The US stock market finished session mixed on Thursday, 14 November 2019, as risk sentiments subdued amid mixed global economic data and mounting uncertainty over the state of U.S.-China trade negotiations after talks between the economic powerhouses have reportedly hit a snag over agricultural purchases. At closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 1.63 points, or 0.01%, to 27,781.96, while the S&P 500 index rose 2.59 points, or 0.08%, to 3,096.63. The Nasdaq Composite fell 3.08 points, or 0.04%, to 8,479.02.

The latest evidence that the US-China trade war has hurt the global economy was illustrated by sub-par growth figures on Thursday from US, China and Japan, followed by lacklustre updates in Britain and Europe.

Media reports also suggested that U.S.-China talks had hit a snag over farm purchases, with Beijing balking at committing to a hard number in the text of the agreement while President Donald Trump has claimed China agreed to buy $50 billion of products a year.

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow told an event at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington late on Thursday that a deal was getting close, but offered no new details and similarly failed to shift the sentiment.

Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Thursday told the U.S. House Budget Committee that the weakness in the manufacturing sector has not spilled over into the broader economy. On Wednesday before the Joint Economic Committee, Powell reiterated that the Fed would need to see a material change in conditions to move policy. However, St Louis Fed president, James Bullard, said Thursday that the “key risk” facing the U.S. economy is a sharper-than-expected slowdown, despite the Fed's recent interest rate cuts. The economy has already been slowing down this year after relatively rapid growth over 2017 and 2018, he noted.

Cisco Systems Inc. slumped after the company issued a bleak outlook with its earnings report, blaming customer uncertainty based on international trade disputes, Hong Kong unrest and Brexit.

ECONOMIC NEWS: US Weekly Jobless Claims Advance To Highest Level Since June-- US initial jobless claims climbed to 225,000, an increase of 14,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 211,000, a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed. With the much bigger than expected increase, initial jobless claims reached their highest level since hitting 229,000 in the week ended June 22nd. The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also crept up to 217,000, an increase of 1,750 from the previous week's unrevised average of 215,250.

US Producer Prices Rebound By 0.4% In October-- The Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing US producer prices rebounded by 0.4% in October after falling by 0.3% in September. The bigger than expected increase in producer prices came amid a substantial rebound in energy prices, which surged up by 2.8% in October after tumbling by 2.5% in each of the two previous months. Gasoline prices spiked by 7.3%. Food prices also showed a significant increase, jumping by 1.3% in October following a 0.3% increase in September. Excluding food and energy prices, core producer prices still rose by 0.3% in October following a 0.3% drop in September. Core prices had been expected to edge up by 0.2%.

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