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US open: Mixed start to session as investors await trade developments

Mon 09 December 2019 15:30 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - Wall Street trading began on a mixed note on Monday, with investors awaiting further updates on US-China trade.

As of 1530 GMT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.10% at 27,987.21, while the S&P 500 was ahead 0.09% at 3,148.71 and the Nasdaq Composite started out the session 0.18% firmer at 8,672.36.

The Dow opened 27.85 points lower on Monday after seeing out the previous week in the green following the release of a key monthly jobs report that easily topped expectations on the Street.

As far as the early part of the week was concerned, market participants were keeping a keen eye on developments in Washington's protracted trade war with China - with just six days to go until the Trump administration is set to slap Beijing with another $156bn-worth of tariffs.

Larry Kudlow, director of the White House's National Economic Council, said on Friday that both sides were "close" to an agreement, but cautioned that Donald Trump was more than prepared to "walk away" if certain conditions could not be met.

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

Ren's comments followed data showing that Chinese exports fell for a fourth straight month in November - potentially increasing pressure on Beijing to make a deal.

XTB market analyst David Cheetham said: "Even though the Sunday deadline occurs when most markets will be closed, there will likely be several hints towards the likely outcome before then and this will probably be the main driver of risk appetite for the coming week."

Later in the week, monetary policy decisions from the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank will be highlights, as will the upcoming UK general election on Thursday.

In corporate news, retailer Macy's saw shares slip in early trade after Goldman Sachs lowered its rating on the firm from 'neutral' to 'sell'.

Toll Brothers and Vail Resorts will report earnings on Monday.

There were no major economic data points scheduled for release at the start of the week.

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