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Dow sinks when trade and economy worry investors



On top of that, it looks like the Federal Reserve's market-stimulating interest rate cut has come to an end. Anything that put stocks in the red.

S&P 500 ( SPX ) which hit a new record high on Wednesday, down 0.3%. Dow ( INDU ) slipped 0.5%, or 140 points, and Nasdaq Composite ( COMP ) falls 0.1%.
Chinese officials have expressed doubts over the world's two largest economies to achieve a full trade agreement, Bloomberg reported. This casts a long shadow over the "phase one" agreement reached by the countries earlier in October.
The preliminary agreement was meant to be signed at the APEC meeting in Chile, but the South American country announced this week that it will no longer be hosted. President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday "China and the United States are working to select a new site for the signing of a Phase 1 trade agreement, about 60% of the total agreement."
Trump had other ideas about why the market is down on Thursday, blaming it on the impeachment inquiry . But the S&P 500 has actually risen 4% since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the inquiry request on September 24.

For the month of October, all three main indices are up. Nasdaq gained the most at 3.7%, followed by S&P with 2.1%. The Dow rose just 0.5% during the month.

Financial markets have been rising and falling with trade headlines throughout the year. Since the summer, the Federal Reserve's decision to stimulate the slow US economy with interest rate cuts has also been a positive backdrop for equities.

On Wednesday, the US central bank lowered interest rates for the third time in a row. But Fed Chairman Jerome Powell strongly hinted that the Fed is going to stand up for the time being. Market expectations for a December interest rate cut are only 23%, according to CME FedWatch Tool.

Although the Fed acknowledged the risks to the world economy, it also said that America was still doing well in comparison.

But poor financial data continues to seep in: earlier Thursday, the Institute of Supply Management's Chicago Business Barometer reached its lowest level since December 2015. It was the second reading below 50, which marks the boundary between growth and contraction.

Trump has long been critical of both the central bank's policy and Powell, which he himself chose. Trump tweeted on Thursday that "people are very disappointed" in the central banker. The President added that the US dollar and "interest rates hurt our producers. We should have lower interest rates than Germany, Japan and everyone else."

Benchmark rates set by central banks largely affect financial institutions and seep into the economy through them. They are not the same as the interest rates a country pays on its debt, which is driven by factors such as risk sentiment. In particular, government bonds in the US, Japan and Germany are considered safe haven investments and are popular in times of market problems.

Central banks in both the EU and Japan kept interest rates at extremely low levels, although economic growth has been slow at best.

Correction: An earlier version of this story omitted a word from President Trump's tweet.


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