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Stocks Edge Lower; Treasuries Fall, Oil Advances: Markets Wrap

Randall Jensen and Vildana Hajric
Stocks Edge Lower; Treasuries Fall, Oil Advances: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- Most U.S. stocks fell as trade concerns countered strength in the tech sector. Treasuries declined with gold after investors eased back bets on a deep cut to interest rates next month.

The S&P 500 dropped for a fourth-straight day, with three stocks retreating for every two that rose. The benchmark swung between gains and losses for most of the afternoon session as investors weighed mixed messages on trade heading into this weekend’s highly-anticipated meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.

The Nasdaq indexes advanced, even as Facebook Inc. and Google fell after Trump said the U.S. “perhaps” will sue the two companies. Micron Technologies Inc.’s profit topped estimates, spurring the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index to the highest level in more than a month.

Ten-year Treasury yields pushed back above 2%, and gold retreated as investors continued to digest rate-cut comments Tuesday by Federal Reserve officials that didn’t match market expectations. The dollar was little changed versus major peers, while West Texas crude rose toward $60 a barrel.

“There are two things we’re focusing on: the G-20 meeting this week in Osaka, and the second one is the Fed and the potential for monetary easing, not only at the Fed but also at a lot of these major central banks,” Jack Janasiewicz, a portfolio strategist at Natixis Investment Managers, said in an interview. “Both of those are giving quite a few different cross-currents which could have pretty significant implications for how the market will react going forward.”

The trade spat between the U.S. and China is looming large for investors ahead of this weekend’s meeting at the Group of 20 conference. Trump once again threatened Wednesday substantial additional tariffs if a deal can’t be reached. Meanwhile, many traders hope the Federal Reserve will counter any headwinds to global growth with deep interest-rate cuts, though Fed member James Bullard made clear Tuesday that’s not a given.

Elsewhere, Bitcoin surged above $13,000 to the highest since January 2018. New Zealand’s dollar strengthened after its central bank left rates unchanged.

U.S. futures spiked higher overnight after a CNBC report that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a trade deal was 90% done. The report was corrected to indicate that the comments referred to May.

Here are some key events coming up:

The Group of 20 summit is in Osaka, Japan, on Friday and Saturday.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

The S&P 500 Index fell 0.1% as of 4 p.m. New York time.The Nasdaq composite gained 0.3%, while the Nasdaq 100 advanced 0.5%.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined 0.3%.The MSCI Emerging Market Index increased 0.3%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index sank 0.3% to the lowest in a week.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed.The euro rose 0.1% to $1.1376.The British pound fell 0.1% $1.2677.The Japanese yen dipped 0.4% to 107.67 per dollar, the weakest in a week.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries advanced six basis points to 2.05%.Germany’s 10-year yield gained two basis points to -0.301%.Britain’s 10-year yield increased three basis points to 0.819%.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude gained 2.3% to $59.17 a barrel, the highest in more than four weeks.Gold fell 0.4% to $1,413.40 an ounce, the first retreat in more than a week.

--With assistance from Ksenia Galouchko, Robert Brand and Laura Curtis.

To contact the reporters on this story: Randall Jensen in New York at rjensen18@bloomberg.net;Vildana Hajric in New York at vhajric1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeremy Herron at jherron8@bloomberg.net, ;Samuel Potter at spotter33@bloomberg.net, Ravil Shirodkar

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