U.S. stocks fell Thursday as investors continued to weigh trade-related developments against uncertainty around an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.
During the mid-morning session, Bloomberg reported that the U.S. is not likely to extend a waiver that allows some U.S. firms to continue selling to China’s Huawei Technologies. The report sent shares of U.S. chipmakers including Micron Technologies (MU) and Qualcomm (QCOM) lower.
Here’s where the market settled Thursday, at the end of regular trading:
S&P 500 (^GSPC): -0.24%, or 7.25 points
Dow (^DJI): -0.3%, or 79.59 points
Nasdaq (^IXIC): -0.58%, or 46.72 points
U.S. crude oil prices (CL=F): -0.1% to $56.41 per barrel
10-year Treasury yield (^TNX): -3.8 bps to 1.694%
Gold (GC=F): -0.03% to $1,511.90 per ounce
A rally in equities that began Wednesday after Trump said a trade deal with China could come “sooner than you think” continued into overnight trading, but fizzled out after market open.
Further details that could inform the next steps in Trump’s potential impeachment proceedings came to light Thursday. A redacted version of the initial whistleblower’s complaint was released in the morning by the House Intelligence Committee.
The document, which includes the accounts of a handful of U.S. officials, alleged the president was “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.” It further alleged that members of the administration had attempted to “lock down” records relating to Trump’s July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, “especially the word-for-word transcript of the call that was produced.”
But until more definitive details emerge on how the new information guides next steps in an impeachment process, trade, economic data releases and corporate earnings results remain the driving forces of the markets.
A spate of new economic data Thursday was broadly positive on the domestic economy. The Department of Labor’s weekly jobless claims rose slightly more-than-than expected last week, but continuing unemployment claims unexpectedly declined for the week prior.
Meanwhile, second-quarter GDP rose an expected 2.0%, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis’s third print on domestic output. Personal consumption, however, was downwardly revised by a hair to see an annualized gain 4.6%, from the 4.7% reported previously. And pending home sales rebounded in August, rising a better-than-expected 1.6% after a decline of 2.5% in July, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday.
On the trade front, the World Trade Organization (WTO) is said to be ready to authorize tariffs on nearly $8 billion of European goods over what the U.S. has called illegal state aid for EU-based Airbus SE (AIR.PA), Bloomberg reported. The authorization, which will reportedly be made public by the end of September, will codify penalties in a long-standing dispute between the U.S. and EU over subsidies for the aircraft-maker, and will likely spark retaliatory tariffs from the EU on U.S. goods.
Meanwhile, crude oil prices stabilized after the U.S. imposed sanctions on some Chinese shipping firms for allegedly carrying Iranian crude after sanctions waivers allowing Iranian oil dealings ended in May, the U.S. Treasury announced late Wednesday.
These sanctions prevent U.S. citizens and companies from working with the shipping companies. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement called this “one of the largest sanctions actions the United States has taken against entities and individuals identified as transporting Iranian oil since our sanctions were re-imposed in November 2018.”
With China as the world’s largest crude oil purchaser, the sanctions could add another hurdle to U.S.-China trade talks, with high-level negotiations set to pick back up again in October. This also comes after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said during the United Nations General Assembly in New York that he would not come to the negotiating table with Trump as long as U.S. sanctions on Iran are in place.
STOCKS: Peloton shares begin trading
Peloton’s stock began trading publicly on the Nasdaq under the ticker “PTON” just before noon on Thursday. The stock opened at $27 per share, about 7% below where it priced late Wednesday. By the end of regular trading, shares were down 11.17% to $25.76 apiece.
Late Wednesday, the indoor exercise equipment company had priced its initial public offering (IPO) at $29 per share, at the high end of its previously targeted $26-29 per share range. The company sold 40 million class A shares, raising $1.16 billion and giving it a valuation of more than $8 billion at the time.
Like its newly public highly valued tech counterparts including Uber (UBER) and Lyft (LYFT), Peloton has yet to turn a profit. The company lost $195.6 million during the year ending in June, more than quadruple the losses of the year prior. Revenue more than doubled to $915 million during the same period.
McDonald’s (MCD) is reportedly planning to test a plant-based Beyond Meat (BYND) burger in 28 restaurants in Southwestern Ontario at the end of the month, according to Reuters. Shares of the newly public company Beyond Meat surged more than 11% during Thursday’s session. McDonald’s shares were up slightly.
Beyond Meat’s board of directors includes former McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson.
Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck
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