The major domestic equity indexes ended flat as the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended a six-day winning streak on Tuesday, over fresh worries regarding the trade war with China.
Trump said Tuesday he was holding up a trade deal with China and had no interest in moving ahead, unless Beijing agrees to four or five “major points” which he did not specify.
Separately, Trump said he would impose more tariffs on Chinese imports if there was no progress in talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 summit later this month.
Producer prices increased solidly for a second straight month in May, in line with expectations of economists polled by Reuters, pointing to a steady pickup in underlying inflation pressures.
Industrials and utilities indexes led the way lower Tuesday, with the S&P 500 industrial index falling 0.9%, weighed down by losses in United Technologies and Raytheon.
Recent optimism over trade tensions and the prospect of an interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve had helped stocks rally in recent sessions. The benchmark S&P 500 is just 2% away from its early May all-time high.
The market is betting the Fed will cut interest rates in July and cut two more times this year as Trump’s hard bargaining on trade with Beijing and others could push the economy back into recession.
United Technologies fell 4% and Raytheon shed 5.1%, a day after Trump gave mixed signals on whether he believed the $121 billion merger between the companies should go forward. On Monday, Raytheon edged higher while United Technologies lost 3.1%.
The S&P utilities index on Tuesday was down 0.7%.
Symantec fell after Morgan Stanley downgraded the antivirus software maker’s stock, citing increased competition.
Approximately 6.76 billion shares changed hands on the major domestic equity exchanges on Tuesday, as compared to 6.92 billion share average over the past 20 trading days.
Producer Prices Up Sharply
According to a report released on Tuesday morning by the Labor Department, producer prices were up sharply for a second straight month in May, partially due to a rise in the cost of hotel accommodation and gains in portfolio management service fees. Excluding food, energy and trade services, the core PPI rose 0.4% last month, matching April’s gain. The core PPI increased 2.3% in the 12 months through May after rising 2.2% in April.
The report will likely support the Federal Reserve’s view that recent weak price readings are probably transitory, and that inflation will gradually move toward the Fed’s 2 percent target.
Weaker energy and food prices, however, partially offset the increase in prices of services last month. That led the producer price index for final demand to edge up 0.1% in May after gaining 0.2% in April. In the 12 months through May, the PPI climbed 1.8%, slowing from April’s 2.2% advance.
The Fed’s preferred inflation measure, the core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, increased 1.6 percent in the year to April after gaining 1.5% in March. Data for May will be released later this month.
The services-led increase in the core PPI last month is likely to translate into a slightly higher reading for other underlying inflation measures in May. The consumer price data will be published on Wednesday.
Prices for hotel accommodation surged 10.1% in May, the most since April 2009. That accounted for nearly 80 percent of the rise in services prices in May. Services prices rose 0.3% after gaining 0.1% in April.
The cost of healthcare services increased 0.2% last month after increasing 0.3% in April. There were increases in the prices for both inpatient and outpatient care last month. Those healthcare costs feed into the core PCE price index.
Portfolio management service fees, identified by the Fed’s Powell as one of the transitory factors restraining inflation, rose 1.8% in May after surging 5.3% in April. These prices, which are being supported by a rebound in the stock market, are likely to lift the core PCE price index in May. The cost of passenger transportation services also increased last month.
Last month, wholesale energy prices fell 1.0% after rising 1.8% in the prior month. Goods prices slipped 0.2% last month after gaining 0.3% in April. Wholesale food prices fell 0.3% in May, led by a 32.1% tumble in the cost of eggs.
Core goods prices were unchanged for a second straight month. Upcoming data will be closely watched for the effects of the latest tariff on Chinese goods. Previous duties impacted prices for machinery, equipment and some household furniture goods.