Wall Street set to open higher on report of possible tariff delay

10 Décembre, 2019, 21:52 | Auteur: Auguste Feret

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes edged higher on Monday, with investors keeping a close watch on headlines around U.S.

Market participants closely monitored the prospect of a limited trade agreement between the US and China, with less than a week to go before Washington is set to impose even more tariffs on Chinese goods.

China's assistant commerce minister Ren Hongbin said on Monday that Beijing hoped to make a deal with Washington "as soon as possible".

The U.S. and China have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of one another's goods since the start of 2018, battering financial markets and souring business and consumer sentiment. The S&P 500 was down 2.28 points, or 0.07 percent, to 3,143.63.

"It's not uncommon for stocks to pause, given where they are, in advance of some news", said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird in Milwaukee.

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The Federal Open Market Committee's two-day policy meeting kicks off on Tuesday and investors are expecting updates from the central bank on its 2020 economic outlook.

On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 105.46 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 27,909.6, the S&P 500 lost 9.94 points, or 0.32 per cent, to 3,135.97 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 34.70 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 8,621.83.

In company news, Merck & Co said it would buy cancer drug developer ArQule Inc for $2.7 billion, causing shares of ArQule to double in value.

Most of the S&P 500 sectors were lower, with healthcare and tech weighing the most on the index. Merck shares dipped 0.1 per cent.

The Nasdaq is up 1,986.55 points, or 29.9%.

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