Markets Right Now: Stocks move solidly higher on Wall Street

Virginia Carson
April 5, 2018

It's too soon to call it the beginning of a trade war, but for now, investors aren't sticking around to find out.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell as much as 758 points, although major indexes regained some of their losses later in the afternoon. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 623 points, or 2.6 percent, to 23,480.

Now a price-weighted composite of Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon.com and Facebook - five of the six largest- capitalized stocks in the S&P 500 - is down close to 12 percent over the past four calendar weeks and on track for the worst such decline in its six-year history. Boeing Co.'s stock (BA) fell 1%, while heavy-machinery maker Deere & Co.(DE) fell 2.9%.

Key indexes traded below their 200-day moving averages on Monday, and the S&P 500 closed below that pivotal technical level for the first time since the Brexit vote in June 2016.

Shares of Boeing, the single largest U.S. exporter to China, tumbled 4 percent.

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The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 71.16 points, or 1.04 per cent, to 6,941.28.

The price of gold climbed 1.2 percent to $1,343.60 an ounce and silver jumped 2 percent to $16.60 an ounce as some investors took money out of stocks and looked for safer investments. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC he "wouldn't be surprised" if the USA and China end up negotiating a resolution to the trade dispute.

Retaliatory Chinese levies on United States pork, wine and fruit went into effect earlier this week. However, if bulls fail to adequately defend this trend line, then the market decline could get ugly.

Numerous same headwinds that have weighed on stocks in recent weeks dragged down prices again on the first trading day of April. "Global trade could slow down, global supply chains could be impacted, and CEOs could be more cautious on capital spending", Toohey said. 3M, a diversified manufacturer, leads the Dow Jones in terms of overall point loss (accounting for 40 of the Dow's almost 500 point loss just before noon), followed closely by Home Depot, Boeing, Goldman Sachs, Caterpillar and Wal-Mart.

Big-name tech companies like Amazon and Microsoft fell more than the rest of the market Monday.

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After spiking last year, the stock market hit extreme turbulence during the first three months of the year as investors anxious about tariffs, inflation and tech stocks. Amazon slipped after Donald Trump renewed his criticism.

Europe's main stock markets steadied at the start of trading on Wednesday following a recovery on Wall Street and in Tokyo. Samsung Electronics fell 2.02 percent.

Investors may have also been comforted when Larry Kudlow, head of President Trump's National Economic Council, said the administration was not angling for a trade war. Brent crude, used to price global oils, fell 21 cents to $67.91 a barrel in London.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury note edged up to 2.788% from 2.784% on Tuesday. Futures pointed to losses of more than 2% for the Nasdaq and Dow.

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