The imminence of the trade war proved to be dragging the entire market down as Wednesday closed lower as trade worries amplified while declines in Qualcomm and retailer shares also brought market sentiments to a bad place.
“A few weeks ago, it looked like a trade deal was imminent. The market was about 3% higher than it is now. I would think that if we got a resolution, we’d go back to around those levels,” said Ed Keon, chief investment strategist at QMA. “On the other hand, if we do go into a full-blown trade war …, then I suspect it would be a much bigger event for the market.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 100.72 points to 25,776.61 as Apple lagged. The S&P 500 slipped 0.3% to 2,856.27, with the tech sector sliding 0.6%. The Nasdaq Composite declined by 0.5% to 7,750.84.
“If the downside is much more than the upside, and you don’t have a way of assessing the odds of the downside scenario happening, the prudent thing to do is to pull back to a more neutral position,” Keon added.
As confirmed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, there is still no schedule for a trip to Beijing to try to amend the brewing trade negotiations between the two economic powerhouses. Adding to the pressure is the announcement made by President Trump to suspend infrastructure spending while the Democrats are investigating him following a seven-minute meeting with the party’s leaders.
Google’s ban on Chinese telecom giant Huawei did not help the entire situation either. Reports have said that the Chinese government is considering dropping purchases of natural gas from the U.S. following the controversial ban against Huawei. In 2017, China bought $6.3 billion worth of U.S. crude and liquefied natural gas.
“Retailers were also under pressure after the release of quarterly results from companies in the sector. Lowe’s fell 11.9% on weaker-than-expected earnings. Nordstrom, meanwhile, dropped 9.3% as its quarterly earnings and revenue missed expectations,” CNBC reports.