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Dow’s Record Rally Speeds to the Brink After Trump Shocks Markets

Last Updated September 23, 2020 12:50 PM
Sam Bourgi
Last Updated September 23, 2020 12:50 PM

The Dow and broader U.S. stock market drifted lower Tuesday after President Trump warned that the trade war with China still has “a long way to go” before reaching its desired conclusion.

Dow Under Pressure; S&P 500 Halts Five-Day Win Streak

All three of Wall Street’s major benchmarks were under pressure during afternoon trade, mirroring a tepid pre-market for Dow futures. The Dow Jones Industrial Average drifted between gains and losses before settling flat at 27,360.82.

Dow Jones
Dow Jones Industrial Average struggles for direction as trade woes resurface. | Source: Yahoo Finance.

The broad S&P 500 Index of large-cap stocks declined 0.3% to 3,004.00, with eight of 11 sectors reporting declines. Energy stocks were the biggest laggards, falling 1.3%. Shares of information technology companies declined 1.1% on average.

Declining technology stocks weighed on the Nasdaq Composite Index, which fell 0.4% to 8,223.61.

U.S.-China Trade War Has a Long Road Ahead

Dow Jones, Donald Trump
President Trump gives a disappointing update on the status of U.S.-China trade talks. | Source: AP Photo/Susan Walsh

A final agreement to end the U.S.-China trade war still has “a long way to go,” according to Donald Trump, who told reporters Tuesday that a fresh round of tariffs on Chinese goods was on the table.

The update came less than three weeks after Trump and China’s Xi Jinping agreed to halt their tariff war and return to the negotiating table. Shortly after the truce was reached, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said  both countries were about “90% of the way” to a new agreement. He didn’t say what the sticking points were.

Talks between the two superpowers broke down in May after China reportedly backed out of an agreement that would have required sweeping overhauls to its industrial policy. The impasse triggered a sharp response, with both countries lobbing a fresh wave of tariffs against one another.

The trade war has put the the global economy in a precarious position, as evidenced by multiple downgrades to economic growth by the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. On Monday, China reported its weakest quarter of expansion in nearly three decades, underscoring the risk of tariffs on a nation still relying heavily on exports and manufacturing.

Click here for a real-time Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) price chart.