Major US stock indices predominantly declined amid concerns about the delay in trade negotiations between the United States and China, as well as weaker than expected US data.
The agency Bloomberg News reported that China and the United States are trying to postpone the meeting of the leaders of the two countries from late March to April. The message appeared the next day, after Trump announced that he was not in a hurry to conclude an agreement. Investors had expected the two leaders to meet in Mar-a-Lago at the end of this month, since both sides claimed that progress had been made in trade negotiations.
The Ministry of Labor reported that initial claims for unemployment benefits rose by 6,000 to 229,000, taking into account seasonal fluctuations for the week ending March 9. The data for the previous week was unchanged. Economists predicted that the number of applications will increase to 225,000. The number of applications for benefits fluctuates in the middle of their range of 200,000–253,000 this year.
Meanwhile, the Commerce Department reported that in January, sales of new homes fell by 6.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual figure of 607,000 units, which was below the experts' forecast (620,000), suggesting that the housing market was weak at the beginning of the first quarter. The report showed a sharp decline in new home sales in the Midwest, which fell by 28.6%, while sales of new homes in the South and Northeast fell by 15.1% and 11.4%, respectively. On the other hand, sales of new homes in the West increased by 27.8% over the month. The average selling price of new homes sold in January was $ 317,200, which is 0.6% less than $ 319,100 in December and 3.8% less than $ 329,600 a year earlier. The report also says that stocks of new homes for sale at the end of January amounted to 336,000 units, which corresponds to 6.6 months of supply at the current level of sales.
Most of the components of DOW finished trading in positive territory (20 of 30). The growth leader was the shares of Visa Inc. (V, + 1.34%). Pfizer Inc. shares turned out to be an outsider. (PFE; -1.92%).
Almost all sectors of the S & P recorded a decline. The largest decline was shown by the industrial goods sector (-0.3%). Growth was recorded only in the financial sector (+ 0.2%) and the consumer goods sector (+ 0.1%).
At the time of closing:
Dow 25,709.73 +6.84 +0.03%
S & P 500 2,808.49 -2.43 -0.09%
Nasdaq 100 7,630.91 -12.49 -0.16%
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