The Dow and broader U.S. stock market bounced back on Wednesday, as investors tried to piece together a narrative to explain the apparent stalling of China trade negotiations ahead of next week’s summit in Beijing.
All of Wall Street’s major indexes traded lower through the morning session as investors shifted their focus to monetary policy and trade negotiations. The Dow Jones Industrial Average extended its slide to triple digits, reflecting a tepid pre-market for U.S. stock futures.
Markets bounced back sharply after the Federal Reserve concluded its policy meeting Wednesday afternoon by leaving its benchmark interest rate unchanged. The Dow rose 28 points, or 0.1%, to 25,914.16.
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The broad S&P 500 Index of large-cap stocks climbed 0.3% to 2,840.03, with most major sectors reporting gains. Shares of energy companies led the advance, rising 1.5%.
The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index was last up 0.7% at 7,771.31.
A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX swung lower in afternoon trade. VIX, also known as the “fear index,” declined 2.1% to 13.28.
U.S.-China Trade War Back in the Spotlight
Stocks came under pressure late Tuesday after the Trump administration confirmed it was sending a trade delegation to Beijing next week to resume negotiations. As Hacked reported, Beijing seems to have reneged on some of its trade concessions because it isn’t convinced that the U.S. will lift tariffs on Chinese goods.
President Trump is sending his heavy hitters to Beijing in the week of March 25, a strong signal that both sides are looking to resolve their bitter dispute. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will be part of the delegation that is scheduled to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He. Liu is expected to make a return visit to Washington, D.C. the following week.
Trade tensions between the two superpowers have cast a dark shadow over global economic growth. The International Monetary Fund and Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development have both downgraded their global growth forecasts for 2019. China’s economic stagnation shows no sigs of slowing anytime soon, as evidenced by the latest round of trade and industrial production data.