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Stock Market News for Nov 22, 2019

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Benchmarks closed in the red on Thursday as investors got perplexed by developments in U.S.-China trade negotiations. Conflicting headlines like China inviting U.S. negotiators for a dinner meeting to Beijing despite the U.S. Congress’ bill to support protestors in Hong Kong kept trade deal uncertainties looming.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell 0.2% or 54.8 points to close at 27,766.29. The S&P 500 fell 0.2% or 4.92 points to close at of 3,103.54. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 8,506.21, giving up 20.52 points or 0.2%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) increased 2.7% to close at 13.13. Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a 1.90 -to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.59-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

How Did the Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow and the S&P 500 on Thursday closed in the negative territory for the third consecutive day. This marks the Dow’s longest losing streak since August and the S&P 500’s first three-day slide since September. Semiconductor companies that have the largest exposure to China trended south, leading the Philadelphia Semiconductor index shed 1.1%.

The Procter & Gamble Company (PG - Free Report) and The Boeing Company (BA - Free Report) were the biggest losers of the Dow, dropping 1.6% and 1.2%, respectively. Procter & Gamble Company carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Youcan see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The S&P index recorded 10 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 32 new highs and 48 new lows.

Mixed Signal on U.S.-China Trade Deal

On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported that China’s chief trade negotiator, Liu He has invited the U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to Beijing for trade negotiation.

This news have left investors confused since earlier the U.S. Senate and House had passed a bill to protect human rights in Hong Kong, and that instantly made China condemn the United States for interfering in their domestic affairs.

However, there is no update if the U.S. administration has accepted the invitation. On the other hand, the South China Morning Post in a report cited that the United States and China are at the “doorstep” of closing a deal, per a source close to the Trump administration.

Economic Data

The weekly claims for jobless benefits came in little changed at 227,000, which is a five-month high. The value however, reflects the seasonal adjustments before the beginning of the holiday season. This also indicates that the employment market is healthy.

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