Stocks are sliding

Stocks opened lower on Tuesday after a strong opening day to the week that brought the S&P 500 within a few points of a new closing high.

Near 10:07 a.m. ET, the Dow was down 54 points, the S&P 500 was down 9 points, and the Nasdaq was down 43 points.

The big economic news today is that the US trade deficit ballooned to $US51.4 billion.

This number was an unprecedented jump on a couple of fronts: the deficit was a six-year high, and much more than the $US41.7 billion economists had forecast, and is the biggest deficit since October 2008. This is also a 43.1% increase from last month and is the largest in 18 years.

Following the release, downgrades to first quarter Gross Domestic Product started rolling in, and several economists now estimate that GDP was actually negative, not 0.2% as first reported.

In earnings, Disney posted earnings per share better than analyst had expected. It has now beat forecasts every quarter for four years.

Disney shares jumped to a new all-time high of around $US113 in pre-market trading.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil crossed the $US60 per barrel mark for the first time since December.

And as oil prices continue their rebound, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister told CNBC on Tuesday that the price of oil is up to Allah.

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