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Stock Market News for Nov 21, 2019

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Benchmarks closed in the negative territory on Wednesday after reports surfaced that a U.S.-China trade deal might not happen this year. Investors also closely followed the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting in October. The minutes shed light on the fact that the central bank might not alter interest rates in the days to come.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell 0.4% or 112.93 points to close at 27,821. The S&P 500 shed 0.4% to close at of 3,108.46. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 8,526.73, dropped 0.5%, its third consecutive record close. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) increased 3.1% to close at 13.18. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.09-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.41-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues.

How Did the Benchmarks Perform?

Seven of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors ended lower, with communications services and technology sectors weighing the most on the major benchmark. The S&P index recorded 23 new 52-week highs and three new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 69 new highs and 64 new lows.

Phase One Deal Uncertain Before 2020

On Wednesday, per a Reuters report, ‘the completion of a partial trade deal could be pushed into 2020 as China seeks more extensive tariff rollbacks’.

Further, uncertainties grew even more after the U.S. Senate passed a bill supporting Hong Kong protestor’s rights. In retaliation, China condemned the United States for interfering in their domestic affairs.

Earlier this week, Trump said that he would impose higher tariffs on China’s goods if they do not make a deal on trade soon.

Shares of trade bellwether Caterpillar Inc. (CAT - Free Report) that carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell), fell 1.2% on Wednesday after the news. Youcan see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

FOMC Minutes in Focus

Investors focused on the Federal Reserve’s October policy meeting minutes that was release late on Wednesday. The central bank did cut interest rate for the third consecutive time but the officials largely agreed that it won’t cut interest rates till U.S. economic conditions deteriorate significantly.

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