Trade Tensions Linger

Stocks drifted lower last week as investors considered the possibility that the world’s two largest economies might take some time to resolve key trade issues.

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Trade News Moves the Market

Stocks fell sharply at the start of last week over trade tensions, then recovered with help from strong earnings and indications that U.S.-China trade talks would continue. Even so, the major indices had a down week. The S&P 500 lost 0.76%, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.27%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.69%.

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High Tariffs Take Effect

As we noted recently, Wall Street has a wandering eye. Last week, it focused on the new tariff threats in the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute. Stocks fell across five trading sessions: the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 2.12%, the S&P 500, 2.18%; the Nasdaq Composite, 3.03%. International stocks also fell: the MSCI EAFE index declined 3.06%.

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Major Indices Have a Mixed Week

Stocks were up and down last week, and the three major benchmarks ended up little changed after five trading days. The S&P 500 rose 0.20% for the week; the Nasdaq Composite, 0.22%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.14%.

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S&P 500 Reaches a New Peak

Stocks returned to record territory, with both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite closing at historic highs. The S&P gained 1.20% for the week; the Nasdaq, 1.85%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged, losing 0.06%. The MSCI EAFE index of international stocks lost 0.52%.

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A Mild Week for the Market

A short and relatively placid trading week wrapped up Thursday, with the major indices turning in mixed performances. The S&P 500 retreated 0.08%, the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.17%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.56%. The MSCI EAFE index, tracking foreign stocks in developed countries, added 0.65%.

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The Q1 Earnings Season Begins

Stocks broke out of a narrow range on Friday following news that two major banks grew their bottom line in the first quarter. For the week, the S&P 500 rose 0.79%, the Nasdaq Composite, 0.91% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average improved 0.50%. Turning to overseas stocks, the MSCI EAFE index declined 0.09%.

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Special Update: Quarterly Report

Stocks just posted their second straight weekly gain.  Investors were encouraged by the latest jobs report and new signs of progress on a U.S.-China trade deal.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 1.17% in five trading days; the S&P 500, 1.27%; the Nasdaq Composite, 1.72%.  The MSCI EAFE index of international stocks improved 1.84%.

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Gains Conclude a Great Quarter

Stocks ended last week higher as volatility slowed, completing their best quarter since 2009.  A Friday tweet from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin encouraged investors, referring to “constructive” discussions in the ongoing U.S.-China trade negotiations.

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