Stocks slipped Wednesday after US retail sales fell for the first time in seven months in September, offsetting for a good start to the third quarter reporting season.
An angry response from China to legislation passed by the United States House of Representatives in support of Hong Kong protesters also demonstrates doubts about the prospects for the future of the trade agreement between the two countries announced last Friday.
What are the main indexes doing?
Dow Jones Industrial Average
lost 22.28 points or 0.1
lost 5.99 points, or 0.2%, to finish at 2,989.69. Nasdaq
ended with a loss of 24.52 points, or 0.3%, at 8 124.18.
On Tuesday, the Dow rose 237.44 points, or 0.9%, to end at 27,024.80, while the S&P 500 advanced 29.53 points, or 1%, to close at 2,995.68, leaving it 1% from its all-time high of 3,025.86 set on July 26. The Nasdaq Composite ended up at 8,148.71 after gaining 100.06 points, or 1.2%.
What is driving the market?
US retail sales unexpectedly dropped 0.3% in September, raising concerns that the decline in industrial spending that is evident in the industrial sector, as a result of President Donald Trump's international trade policy, could fuel consumer spending.
at home in September and did not spend a penny on stores and malls across the country as it looks like the China-US trade war has claimed another victim, ”said MUFG chief economist Chris Rupkey. "The million dollar question is whether this is just a temporary withdrawal or whether something darkening is happening as the consumer begins to chicken.
" One of the leading indicators of recession is three months in a row with declining retail sales, so today was the strike for the economy that is in extra lap in the tenth year of record expansion, "he added.
The probability of an October interest rate cut rose to 90% on Wednesday after retail sales data were published, up from 78% on Tuesday.
Earlier, China threatened to retaliate on a series of bills supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong that passed the House unanimously late Tuesday.
"We think it is possible that this bill will push Ki reached a public show of defiance of America's "interference," "which could mean a whim at Hong Kong protesters," Jasper Lawler, London Capital Group's head of research, said in a note. "Under that scenario, the markets would be eased if China's retaliation kept the trade pact intact. However, higher political uncertainty in Hong Kong would be a significant downside risk," Lawler said.
The Wall Street Journal also reported that there are questions about the amount of US agricultural products China will actually buy as part of the tentative trade that was announced last week. At a meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella in the White House on Wednesday, President Donald Trump said he probably would not sign any trade agreement until mid-November.
Meanwhile, the US quarterly revenue reporting season was off to a good start this week. Of the S&P 500 index companies that reported through Wednesday morning, 83% have exceeded analysts' expectations, FactSet data shows.
Which shares are in focus?
Shares of Bank of America Corp.
BAC, + 1.48%
rose 1.5% after the company reported Q3 profits exceeding Wall Street expectations.
Shares of United Airlines Holdings Inc.
ended 2.1% higher after reporting a third-quarter profit following Tuesday's near-peaked expectations and the company lifted guidance for the year.
Shares of General Motors
GM, + 1.08%  reached 1.1% after the car manufacturer and the United Auto Workers union reached a preliminary agreement to end the month-long strike at GM .
Shares of MGM Resorts International
fell 1.6% after announcing late Tuesday that it would sell the Circus Circus casino resort in Las Vegas and a great interest in the Bellagio resort.
How do other markets trade?
U.S. Treasury returns fell on Wednesday after unclear data from the US on retail sales. The 10-year state tax return
dropped 2 basis points to 1,750%.
Oil futures on Wednesday recorded their first rise in three sessions, picking up much of the loss they received a day earlier, but worries about the prospect of demand remaining, with prices holding on to a significant loss from the week to date. West Texas Middle Oil for delivery in November
left 55 cents, or 1%, to settle on the $ 53.36 barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold prices ended higher Wednesday as investors looked at global political news around trade and Brexit, responding to a weaker reading than US retail sales than expected, prompting some port purchases. Gold for December delivery on Comex
GCZ19, + 0.67%
raised $ 10.50, or 0.7%, to settle at $ 1,449 ounces.
The British pound was on a roller coaster ride Wednesday, with British equities falling as investors rode a wave of headlines updated on the Brexit deal. The pound
GBPUSD, + 0.0312%
who has swung back and forth in recent sessions on Brexit headlines, advanced 0.4% to $ 1.2831 against the dollar, the highest level in five months.