U.S. Stocks Stumble Into Close Amid Impeachment: Markets Wrap

Claire Ballentine and Vildana Hajric
U.S. Stocks Stumble Into Close Amid Impeachment: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks receded just before the closing bell as investors digested a flurry of corporate news and Congress debated the impeachment of Donald Trump. Treasuries slipped and the British pound weakened.

The S&P 500 Index fell Wednesday -- after spending most of the day higher -- snapping a five-session streak of gains. Tech shares stumbled toward the end of regular trading as Apple Inc. slid from the day’s highs. FedEx Corp. plunged after a forecast cut. With few big economic headlines imminent, and much of the U.S. focused on the impeachment vote, investors may take a wait-and-see stance as the holidays near.

“We think it’s largely going to be a non-event,” Candice Bangsund, a vice president and portfolio manager at Fiera Capital, said of the impeachment. “It’s going to be the story likely for the next two to three weeks and then it will be ancient history and we’ll be moving on to the elections, to trade negotiations.”

With global stocks close to all-time highs and the U.S.-China trade accord announced Friday yet to be signed, traders are finding few reasons to bid prices higher. The outlook for America’s monetary policy remains steady -- two Federal Reserve policy makers reiterated that interest rates are on hold -- yet the miserable results from FedEx were a reminder of the headwinds to growth.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index closed lower as national benchmarks traded mixed, with Germany’s gauge underperforming even as data showed business expectations improved for a third month.

PSA Group rose and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV was steady as they agreed to combine in a deal to create the world’s fourth-biggest auto manufacturer. Bang & Olufsen A/S plunged after the luxury TV and stereo maker issued its fourth profit warning in a year. The pound extended its losses after tumbling Tuesday on renewed concern that a no-deal Brexit is possible. The dollar strengthened against most of its G-10 peers.

Earlier in Asia, equities were mixed, with shares falling in Tokyo but rising in Hong Kong and India. The yuan was steady offshore after China’s central bank injected liquidity into the financial system.

Meanwhile, West Texas crude rebounded, and energy shares rose, after a bullish U.S. inventory report.

Here are some key events to watch for this week:

Policy decisions are due Thursday from the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England.Revised U.S. GDP data are due Friday.Friday also brings quadruple witching in the U.S., the simultaneous expiration date of stock index futures, stock index options, stock options and single stock futures. Expect elevated trading volume, particularly in the last hour of trading.

These are the main moves in markets:

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--With assistance from Sophie Caronello, Andreea Papuc and Sam Potter.

To contact the reporters on this story: Claire Ballentine in New York at cballentine@bloomberg.net;Vildana Hajric in New York at vhajric1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeremy Herron at jherron8@bloomberg.net, Todd White, Andrew Dunn

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