The US equity market finished session mixed after choppy trading on Tuesday, 14 January 2020, as investors elected to book profit made recently after reports that the US would likely maintain tariffs on Chinese goods until after November presidential election. At closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 32.62 points, or 0.1%, at 28,939.67 while the S&P 500 index lost 4.98 points, or 0.15%, to 3,283.15. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 22.60 points, or 0.24%, at 9,251.33.
The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders seemed reluctant to make significant moves as they digested quarterly results from several big-name financial companies.
Phase one of the U. S.-China trade deal is set to be signed on Wednesday in Washington. As part of a U. S.-China trade deal, China will pledge to buy $200 billion of U. S. goods over a two-year period in four industries, according to several reports, in return the U. S. will scrap a new round of tariffs and cut the tariffs on $120 billion worth of Chinese goods in half to 7.5 percent, but a 25 percent tariff on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports will remain in place.
The two sides have an understanding that no sooner than 10 months after the signing of the agreement at the White House Wednesday, the U. S. will review progress and potentially trim tariffs now in place on $360 billion of imports from China.
However, reports released on Tuesday stated existing tariffs on Chinese imports would likely stay in place until after the U. S. elections in November and any reduction would depend on Chinese compliance with the terms of the accord.
A rally in financial stocks helped offset losses in most other sectors, after JPMorgan and Citigroup reported strong fourth-quarter results to kick off the corporate earnings season.
ECONOMIC NEWS: US Consumer Prices Up 0.2% In December- US consumer prices increased by slightly less than anticipated in the month of December, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Tuesday. The Labor Department said its consumer price index rose by 0.2 % in December after climbing by 0.3 % in November. The increase in consumer prices was partly due to a jump in energy prices, which surged up by 1.4 % in December amid a 2.8 % jump in gasoline prices. Excluding food and energy prices, core consumer prices inched up by 0.1 % in December after rising by 0.2 % in November. Core prices had been expected to rise by another 0.2 %. The uptick on core prices reflected higher prices for shelter and medical care as well as increases by prices for apparel, motor vehicle insurance, recreation, and new vehicles.
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