Stocks Fall, Treasuries Advance on Policy Concerns: Markets Wrap

  • Threatened government shutdown over border wall funding
  • Havens Treasuries, yen and gold rise on risk reassessment

Signs That Markets Are Losing Patience With Trump

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U.S. stocks fell for the first time in three days, the dollar slumped and Treasuries gained as Donald Trump’s threat to shut down the government sparked concern Congress won’t easily raise the debt ceiling and deliver on tax reform. Oil rose after a report on stockpiles.

All major American equity benchmarks retreated and the 10-year Treasury yield hit the lowest since June as Trump’s gambit prompted Fitch Ratings to warn the country risks a review of its sovereign rating if it fails to raise the limit next month. The dollar slipped amid fresh data showing uneven U.S. growth that contrasted with renewed evidence of strength in Europe ahead of a central-bank symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Trump’s latest comments, which included talk of ending the North American Free Trade Agreement, rekindled concerns about the administration’s ability to deliver on its fiscal plans and heightened unease about the future of global trade. A day earlier, his treasury secretary said getting Congress to raise the debt ceiling and reforming the tax code were priorities, sparking a rally of 1 percent in the S&P.

“The increased prospects of a tax reform bill seemed to get most of the credit for the rally” Tuesday, Matt Maley, an equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co., wrote in a note to clients. “At least some of that has gone out the window.” Contributing to the slump are reports that “the relationship between the President and Senate Majority Leader McConnell has broken down badly,” he said.

Terminal subscribers can read more on our Markets Live blog.

Among other key events looming this week:

  • Combined sales of previously owned U.S. homes (Thursday) has probably edged up in July from the prior month, indicating a still robust real estate market held in check by rising property prices, economists forecast.
  • Federal Reserve Chair Yellen is scheduled to speak about financial stability at 10 a.m. New York time on Friday at the Kansas City Fed’s symposium. ECB President Mario Draghi is set to give a speech at 3 p.m.

Here are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 Index fell 0.3 percent to 2,444.01 as of 4 p.m. in New York, with consumer discretionary and industrial shares leading declines. The index is down 1.1 percent in August after four straight monthly gains.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 87.86 points to 21,812.03.
  • The Russell 2000 Index fell 0.1 percent, outperforming other U.S. gauges.
  • The MSCI’s emerging-market index rose for a third straight day.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index sank 0.5 percent.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index declined 0.3 percent, paring its first monthly gain since February to 0.2 percent.
  • The Japanese yen climbed 0.6 percent to 108.968 per dollar.
  • The Mexican peso fell 0.1 percent to 17.7164 per dollar, rebounding from a slide that reached 1 percent following Trump’s remarks..
  • The euro advanced 0.5 percent to $1.1819. 
  • The British pound weakened to the lowest in more than seven weeks. 

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell five basis points to 2.17 percent, the lowest since June 26.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield dipped two basis points to 0.38 percent, as the note rose for the fifth consecutive time on a closing basis. 
  • Britain’s 10-year yield declined three basis points to 1.05 percent.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude rose more than 1 percent to settle at $48.41 a barrel. Oil stockpiles have dropped every week since late June and gasoline inventories also fell, while crude production climbed for a second week, according to an EIA report Wednesday.
  • Gold futures gained 0.3 percent to end at $1,294.70 an ounce, rebounding from a 0.4 percent drop Tuesday. .

— With assistance by Cormac Mullen, Dani Burger, Dennis Pettit, and Liz McCormick

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