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Ongoing Trade Concerns May Weigh on US Stocks

By Investors Hub

The major U.S. index futures are pointing to a lower opening on Wednesday, with stocks likely to add to the modest losses posted in the previous session.

Ongoing trade tensions between the U.S. and its key partners are likely to contribute to continued weakness on Wall Street.

A report from Reuters said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has indicated Canada will not bend on key demands regarding NAFTA in talks with the U.S. this week.

?There are a number of things we absolutely must see in a renegotiated NAFTA,? Trudeau told reporters on Tuesday.

U.S. and Canadian officials are scheduled to hold trade talks in Washington today after failing to reach an agreement last week.

Reports President Donald Trump intends to impose tariffs on another $200 billion worth of Chinese imports as soon as a public comment period ends on Thursday may also generate selling pressure.

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Stocks saw modest weakness during trading on Tuesday as traders returned to their desks following the long, holiday weekend.

The major averages ended the day in negative territory but well off their lows of the session. The Dow edged down 12.34 points or 0.1 percent to 25,952.48, the Nasdaq dipped 18.29 points or 0.2 percent to 8,091.25 and the S&P 500 slipped 4.80 points or 0.2 percent to 2,896.72.

The weakness on Wall Street came amid lingering concerns about global trade after U.S. and Canadian officials failed to reach an agreement to reform NAFTA.

President Donald Trump said in a post on Twitter on Saturday that there is “no political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal.”

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“If we don’t make a fair deal for the U.S. after decades of abuse, Canada will be out,” Trump tweeted. “Congress should not interfere w/ these negotiations or I will simply terminate NAFTA entirely & we will be far better off.”

Recent reports have suggested Trump also plans to move ahead with tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports as early as this week.

Stocks regained ground following the release of a report from the Institute for Supply Management showing activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector unexpectedly grew at a faster rate in the month of August.

The ISM said its purchasing managers index climbed to 61.3 in August from 58.1 in July, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in the manufacturing sector. Economists had expected the index to dip to 57.7.

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Meanwhile, a separate report released by the Commerce Department showed a modest uptick in construction spending in the U.S. in the month of July.

The Commerce Department said construction spending inched up by 0.1 percent to an annual rate of $1.315 trillion in July after falling by 0.8 percent to a revised rate of $1.314 trillion in June.

Economists had expected construction to rise by 0.5 percent compared to the 1.1 percent slump originally reported for the previous month.

Gold stocks showed a substantial move to the downside on the day, dragging the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index down by 4.1 percent. The weakness among gold stocks came amid a decrease by the price of the precious metal.

Steel, energy, and computer hardware stocks also saw considerable weakness, while strength was visible among retail and telecom stocks.

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Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

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