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Stocks Close Mixed On Tariff Headlines As Small Caps Outperform | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

Stocks closed mixed Wednesday but well off the lowest levels of the day as the market gyrated with headlines on trade tariffs.

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The market opened sharply lower after news came out late Tuesday that Gary Cohn, the chief White House economic advisor and an ally of Wall Street, was resigning in a dispute over proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum.

But stocks bounced in afternoon trading after the White House said Mexico, Canada and other countries may be exempt from steel and aluminum tariffs.

Earlier, the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book came out. Fed officials noted rising wage growth in the beginning of the year. Inflation worries have been at the forefront of institutional investors. Stocks had little reaction in the several minutes after the report, but gained more strength later.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.3%, with Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Walmart (WMT) dragging down the average.

Exxon Mobil slid more than 3% to the lowest level since February 2016. Exxon Mobil on Wednesday set a plan to double earnings and cash flow from operations by 2025, announcing a fivefold increase in production from the U.S. Permian Basin area.

Walmart fell to its 200-day moving average. It dipped to only a few cents above the 200-day average Friday, when Walmart found support at that level. Walmart’s tech incubator has acquired virtual reality startup Spatialand, part of the retailer’s interest in VR as a retail tool.

The S&P 500 fell less than 0.1% and the Nasdaq composite rose 0.3% after wiping out an 0.8% decline. Wednesday’s loss made it harder for the S&P to climb back above its 50-day moving average, but the index remains within striking distance of that important price-trend indicator.

Small caps stood out, as they have for the past few sessions. The Russell 2000 climbed nearly 0.8% and added some room above the 50-day line. The Russell is 2% away from a new high, closer than the S&P 500 and Dow. The Nasdaq is just 1% off.

Volume rose on the Nasdaq and was little changed on the NYSE compared with Tuesday’s totals, according to early data.

Software, other technology and regional bank ETFs scored gains of 0.4% to more than 1%, and it’s precisely those industries that represent major chunks of the Russell 2000 index.


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Several regional banks broke out of bases.

Wintrust Financial (WTFC), FCB Financial (FCB), Ameris Bancorp (ABCB) cleared buy points. Synovus Financial (SNV) and BOK Financial (BOKF) also broke out, but volume was limited.

Security software was one of Wednesday’s best industry groups, and from that group FireEye (FEYE) climbed above the 18.10 entry of a cup base. Volume was merely average, however.

RELATED:

Trump Tariffs May Exempt Canada, Mexico, White House Says

Trump’s Globalist Cohn Is Out, Steel Tariffs Are In, Trade War Odds Grow

Trump Official Not Sure President Has Made Up Mind ‘With Clarity’ On Tariffs

 

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