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Dow falls 280 points as Trump says China trade deal can wait

Jonathan Garber

Stocks fell Tuesday, but closed well off the worst levels of the session, after President Trump said a U.S.-China trade deal may not happen until after the 2020 election.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 280 points, clawing back from a 458 point deficit, before finishing lower by 1 percent. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were down 0.7 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

"In some ways, I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal, but they want to make a deal now and we’ll see whether the deal’s gonna be right -- it's gotta be right," Trump told reporters in London where he is attending a NATO summit, adding that he has "no deadline" to complete an agreement.

He also blasted the European Union for taking financial advantage of the United States.

The trade-sensitive chipmakers were under pressure following the president's comments, as was the logistics giant FedEx which led the Dow Transports lower.

Retailers were unable to escape the selloff despite Adobe Analytics reporting Cyber Monday sales totaled a record $9.4 billion, up 19.7 percent year-over-year, a sign consumer spending is strong.

Elsewhere, Pacific Gas and Electric Company gained after a California probe found the utility failed to inspect power lines that caused a 2018 wildfire. The latest setback for the embattled utility giant.

AK Steel rallied after announcing it agreed to be bought by iron ore miner Cleveland Cliffs in an all-stock deal at a valuation of about $1.1 billion, or $3.36 a share -- a 16 percent premium to Monday's closing price.

Commodities gained with West Texas Intermediate crude oil up 0.6 percent near $56.30 a barrel and gold up 1 percent at $1,483 an ounce.

U.S. Treasurys were surged, pushing the yield on the 10-year note down 12 basis points to 1.716 percent, its lowest since Nov. 1.

In Europe, Britain's FTSE was down 1.8 percent, France's CAC fell 1 percent and Germany's DAX was up 0.2 percent.

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Overnight, Japan's benchmark Nikkei lost 0.6 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.2 percent and China's Shanghai Composite gained 0.3 percent.

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