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Stocks fluctuate as investors weigh trade plan

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U.S. stocks swung between gains and losses as investors debated the implications of the partial trade deal reached last week between the U.S. and China. European bonds gained.

The S&P 500 opened in the red after China appeared to pour cold water on a pact touted by Donald Trump, with people familiar with the situation saying it wanted to iron out details before signing it. A tweet from the Global Times’ editor-in-chief painted a more optimistic outlook, giving equities some support. U.S. debt markets are closed for the Columbus Day holiday.

“I think given we’ve had a bit of good news, chances are we’re going to be on the doubting side this week,” said Peter Jankovskis, Oakbrook Investments LLC’s co-chief investment officer. “That’s been the natural ebb and flow of the whole process.”

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined, while Asia stocks climbed earlier, helping sustain a rally in emerging-market assets after the positive conclusion of the latest round of trade talks. A dollar gauge advanced.

“I expect there will be a deal,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday on CNBC television. The sides made “substantial progress” last week in negotiations and Mnuchin said he expects Trump and President Xi Jinping to finalize the accord at a summit in Chile next month.

The pound extended its drop, after rocketing for the past two sessions, as European Union negotiators warned that Brexit plans from U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson are not yet good enough to be the basis for an agreement. Turkey’s stock market tumbled and its currency weakened as the U.S. and Europe threatened to impose sanctions over the incursion into Syria.

Elsewhere, West Texas crude oil dropped after surging the most in almost a month on Friday.

Focus will soon turn to earnings season that begins with big U.S. banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley.

Here are some key events coming up this week:

  • The International Monetary Fund and World Bank host meetings to discuss economic development and finance.
  • St. Louis Fed President James Bullard speaks at Bloomberg’s monetary and financial policy conference in London. Riksbank Governor Stefan Ingves also speaks there. Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic speaks in Atlanta. San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly gives a speech in Los Angeles.
  • Wednesday brings a monetary policy decision in South Korea.
  • U.S. retail sales are forecast to increase for a seventh straight month. Sales in the “control group” are also expected to rise. Consumer spending is carrying the weight of U.S. economic growth so the data will be monitored closely for any signs of slowing.
  • China releases third-quarter GDP, September industrial production and retail sales data on Friday.

Here are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 Index declined 0.1% to 2,968.63 as of 11:28 a.m. New York time.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.1% to 26,832.80, the highest in two weeks.
  • The Nasdaq Composite Index was little changed at 8,058.23, the highest in almost three weeks.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index sank 0.5 per cent to 389.63.
  • Germany’s DAX Index decreased 0.2 per cent to 12,483.32.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index advanced 0.2 per cent to 1,208.38, the biggest gain in a week.

Bonds

  • Britain’s 10-year yield declined seven basis points to 0.635 per cent, the largest decrease in three weeks.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield dipped two basis points to -0.46 per cent.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude declined 2.8 per cent to US$53.16 a barrel, the largest drop in two weeks.
  • Gold strengthened 0.2 per cent to US$1,492.27 an ounce.

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