Stocks go nowhere amid trade tensions

Stocks were mixed Tuesday as US trade tensions rose on multiple fronts. The dollar and the 10-year Treasury yield fell.

Here’s the scoreboard:

Dow Jones industrial average: 24,797.44 −16.25 (-0.065%)

S&P 500:2,748.21 +1.34 (+0.049%)

  1. China offered to buy nearly $US70 billion more worth of American farm and energy products. Beijing is asking Washington to drop tariff threats in exchange for a reduction in the US-China trade deficit.
  2. The number of job openings in the US exceeded the number of job seekers for the first time on record.There were 6.7 million jobs available at the end of April, the Department of Labour said, compared with 6.3 million unemployed Americans that month.
  3. Mexico hit the US with retaliatory tariffs on steel and politically-sensitive products like pork, cheese, and bourbon.The move comes a week after the US moved forward with hefty steel and aluminium tariffs on its closest allies, prompting swift vows for reprisal.
  4. US officials reportedly asked OPEC to raise output by about a million barrels per day. Oil prices were mixed following the news, with WTI up 0.65% to $US65.30 per barrel and Brent down 0.54% to just below $US75 a barrel. The crude benchmarks have both shed nearly 2% over the past week.
  5. Fox looks poised to gain approval from the UK government to buy Sky PLC – so long as it divests the company’s news product. Britain’s culture secretary Matt Hancock also said he’d allow Comcast’s bid for Sky to move forward.
  6. Twitter rose more than 5% to a fresh high ahead of the company’s S&P 500 index debut Thursday. The social media giant is replacing Monsanto, which is set to merge with Bayer after winning US Justice Department approval last week.Here’s a look at what Twitter joining the index could mean for shares going forward.

And a look at the upcoming economic calendar:

  • Trade balances are out in the US, Canada and Australia.
  • Canada reports monthly building permits.
  • Australia releases quarterly GDP numbers.
  • US weekly crude inventories cross the wire.

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