The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged higher on Tuesday after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said a meeting between Trump and his Chinese counterpart on Saturday was an opportunity to “turn the page” on a trade war.
All three of Wall Street’s major indexes reversed losses following Kudlow’s comments days ahead of the high-stakes dinner between Trump and Xi Jinping after the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.
But Kudlow also said the White House has been disappointed so far in China’s response to trade issues with the United States. On Monday, Trump threatened to move ahead with additional tariffs on Chinese goods, due to take effect on Jan. 1.
General Motors fell 2.5 percent after Trump warned subsidies could be cut after the automaker said it would shutter U.S. plants and lay off thousands of workers.
Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, all but three closed out the day’s trading session in positive territory. Healthcare was the biggest percentage gainer with a 0.99 percent increase, followed by gains in defensive sectors such as consumer staples, utilities and real estate. Trade-sensitive industrials and materials were down, as was energy.
Steel stocks fell as China’s steel sector slid into bear territory, with the benchmark rebar contract down more than 20 percent from its 2018 peak. US Steel was down 8.3 percent, while AK Steel Holdings fell 4.6 percent.
Spirit Airlines took off, its stock rising 15.3 percent after hiking fourth-quarter unit revenue guidance.
Shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb fell after its lung cancer therapy fell short of goals in a late-stage trial. Its shares ended the trading day down 3.0 percent.
United Technologies fell 4.1 percent following its announcement late Monday that it would divide its aerospace, elevators and building segments into three discrete companies.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is expected to speak on Wednesday, and investors will scrutinize his comments over the country’s economic health and trade concerns.
Approximately 6.79 billion shares changed hands on the major domestic equity exchanges, as compared to the 7.90 billion share average over the past 20 trading days.