Stock market news: November 8, 2019

Emily McCormick

Stocks ended slightly higher, shrugging off earlier losses during the session after President Donald Trump wavered over whether tariffs would be rolled back as part of a partial deal with China.

Each of the S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq posted record closing highs Friday and ended higher for the week.

Here’s where markets settled at the close of regular equity trading:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +0.26%, or 7.9 points

  • Dow (^DJI): +0.02%, or 6.44 points

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +0.48%, or 40.8 points

  • 10-year Treasury yield (^TNX): +1.8 bps to 1.94%

  • Gold (GC=F): -0.43% to $1,460.10 per ounce

President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House that the U.S. had not yet agreed to reduce tariffs on Chinese imports as part of a phase one deal, according to multiple reports.

Earlier this week, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Commerce had said both China and the U.S. had agreed to reduce tariffs in the event that a phase one trade deal were passed. This had sent stocks sailing to record highs.

However, developments since had suggested a tariff rollback was still in contention in the White House. Trade adviser Peter Navarro suggested on Fox Business on Thursday that the White House was still undecided over whether to roll back tariffs, and Reuters reported that reducing levies had not been part of the Trump administration’s and China’s original handshake deal.

Specialist Anthony Rinaldi, left, and trader Ashley Lara work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Specialist Anthony Rinaldi, left, and trader Ashley Lara work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Despite the deflating trade optimism Friday, hopes of progress toward an at least partial trade agreement earlier this month and throughout October had helped boost the Chinese economy, where geopolitical concerns had been a drag on growth.

China’s customs administration reported late Thursday that exports fell less than expected in October, falling 0.9% over last year for the month versus a much steeper 3.9% drop expected. This followed a 3.2% decline in September. Exports to the U.S. slumped by 11.3% for the year-to-date in dollar terms, versus the first 10 months of 2018.

Imports also fell less sharply than expected, declining by 6.4% versus the 7.8% drop anticipated. Taken together, China’s trade surplus expanded to $42.8 billion, from $39.19 billion in September.

STOCKS: Disney earnings top expectations, Gap guides down

Disney (DIS) topped expectations in fiscal fourth-quarter results, the company’s last before its highly anticipated Disney+ streaming service launches in the U.S. on Tuesday. The entertainment powerhouse delivered adjusted earnings of $1.07 per share on revenue of $19.1 billion, better than the 95 cents a share and $19.05 billion expected.

The strong results were broad-based, with its studio entertainment division getting a boost on the back of releases including The Lion King, Toy Story 4 and Aladdin. Its parks and products segment generated more sales and profit than expected amid strong Toy Story and Frozen merchandise sales, offsetting a hit to attendance at Disney World due to Hurricane Dorian, and Hong Kong Disneyland as protests overtook the region.

Gap (GPS) announced Thursday that long-tenured CEO Art Peck was stepping down from the company, to be replaced in the interim by Robert Fisher, the son of the company’s founders. The announcement coincided with a negative guide down for full-year profit. Gap now expects to earn between $1.70 to $1.75 per share, versus the $2.05 to $2.15 per share previously seen.

The retailer has struggled to keep pace with consumer demands, reflected in steepening sales declines at all of its brands. Gap brand sales slumped 7% during the most recent quarter, Banana Republic sales declined 3% and Old Navy fell 4%.

Dropbox (DBX) posted better than expected sales and earnings for its fiscal third quarter as the cloud storage company added more paying users during the period. Adjusted earnings of 13 cents per share were two pennies ahead of consensus, and revenue of $428.2 million was ahead of the $423.6 million expected. Paying users grew by nearly 2 million to 14 million during the quarter, and average revenue per paying user grew to $123.15, from $118.60 last year.

ECONOMY: Consumer sentiment remains resilient in November

Consumer confidence edged up slightly in November to 95.7, better than the unchanged reading of 95.5 from October expected, according to the University of Michigan preliminary Survey of Consumers released Friday. The headline index represents a decline from a high of as much as 100.0 this year in May, but is still well above its longer-run average.

“Consumers did voice a slightly more positive outlook for the economy, which was offset by a slightly less favorable outlook for their own personal finances,” Richard Curtin, Surveys of Consumers chief economist, wrote in a statement.

“The strongest aspect of the current economy has been job and wage gains,” he added. “Although consumers have become somewhat more cautious spenders, they see no reason to engage in the type of retrenchment that causes recessions.”

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck

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