Suspense Before Trump-Xi Meeting


    The New York Stock Exchange remained flat on Thursday with investors hoping that the meeting scheduled on Saturday between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping will bring trade negotiations out of the stalemate. Insistent rumors call for a suspension by Washington of its plan to tax 300 billion dollars of additional Chinese goods. Donald Trump however, scrambled the tracks in repeating Wednesday night that he was ready to tax Beijing if his meeting with Xi Jinping was short.

    At the close, the Dow Jones index yielded 0.04% to 26,526 points, led by a 3% fall in Boeing shares, while the broad S & P 500 index advanced 0.38% to 2.924 pts, signing its first rise after 4 consecutive drops. The Nasdaq Composite, rich in technology and biotechnology stocks, gained 0.73% to 7,967 pts.

    Earlier, in Asia, markets have progressed in the hope of an agreement, or at least a commercial truce, on the occasion of the meeting between the American and Chinese presidents, Saturday. The Chinese CSI 300 index gained 1% and in Tokyo the Nikkei 225 advanced 1.2%. In Europe, the EuroStoxx 50 ended cautiously stable Thursday (-0.02%) and in Paris, the CAC 40 fell 0.13% to 5.493 pts.

    At the macroeconomic level, the indicators of the day came out contrasted in the United States. The final reading of the first quarter GDP did not bring any surprises, coming out at 3.1% annual rate, in line with the consensus of place and the previous assessment. In the detail though, the expenditure component of consumer spending, was revised down to +0.9%, against +1.3% consensus and + 1.3% also for the prior estimate higher.

    On the employment front, weekly jobless claims rose more than expected last week. They stood at 227,000, against 218,000 consensus and after 217,000 for the replayed reading of the previous week.

    The real estate sector continues to send signals that are sometimes contradictory. This time, the index of promises of home sales came out above expectations in May, up 1.1% from April, against a consensus of +0.6% and after -1, 5% in April. The indicator stands at 105.4 in May, against 104.3 a month earlier.

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    I cover technology, utilities and biotechnology for Markets Morning, and I help out occasionally with other industry sectors. I've written about investment and personal finance topics for more than 20 years from a lowly copywriter to editor-in-chief, so I've done a little bit of everything. For what it's worth, I have a BA from Duke University and an MBA from Rollins College. I'm married with one daughter, and that's worth more than everything else put together.