It now looks likely that President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping may not be able to sign that Part 1 trade deal until December. The two sides still haven’t set a date or a place. The Chinese have ruled out the first two U.S. suggestions of Iowa and Alaska and attention has shifted to sites in Asia and Europe.
So far financial markets remain convinced that the deal will get signed and that this squabbling is simply squabbling instead of a sign that the agreement is falling apart. But the delay has left financial markets stalled since no investor or trader wants to get on the wrong side of this uncertainty.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 finished ahead 0.07% today while the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished with 0% change. The NASDAQ Composite fell 0.29% and the Russell 2000 small cap index was off 0.59%. The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) slipped 0.33%.
The two biggest sectors in the S&P 500 didn’t go much of anywhere either today with financials (XLF) ahead 0.47% and technology (XLK) gaining 0.04%.
A sign that investors and traders are in a wait and see attitude rather than deeply worried is the direction of the VIX, the CBOE S&P 500 Volatility Index. The VIX actually fell today by 2.21% to 12.81, a sign that most traders and investors aren’t rushing to put on hedges against a decline in the S&P 500.