Mid-Day Update: Wall Street Trims Gains as Confidence Sapped by Geopolitics, Looming Govt Shutdown

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Early gains tied to a resumption in US/China trade talks were beginning to dissolve at midday on Monday as heightened geopolitical tensions between Washington and Beijing coupled with another possible government shutdown weighed on investor confidence. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was in negative territory for a fourth straight day and flirting with support at its 200-day moving average.

Led by gains overseas as restarted trade talks fueled investor optimism, US stocks opened higher on strength in trade-sensitive industrial stocks along with upbeat trade-related comments from White House adviser Kellyanne Conway.

The uptrade slowed as naval maneuvers in the South China Sea rekindled geopolitical tensions and raised concerns the US and China won't be able to hammer out a deal before another tranche of tariffs against Chinese exports take effect March 1. With the looming threat of another shutdown, the major averages trimmed early gains.

Led by gains in the Italian banking sector, Euro-zone bourses were all higher at the close with Italy's FTSE-MIB outperforming. Gains in Deutsche Bank ( DB ) and Wirecard drove Germany's DAX higher by 1% and back above 11,000. The softer British pound helped blunt pressure on the UK's FTSE-100 as a result of a miss in Q4 GDP and December industrial production, both of which confirmed slowing momentum in the UK economy.

Crude oil was down $0.98 to $51.74 per barrel. Natural gas was up $0.10 to $2.68 per 1 million BTU. Gold was down $5.50 to $1,312.00 an ounce, while silver was down $0.09 to $15.71 an ounce. Copper was down $0.02 to $2.79 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was down 1.62% to $10.90 with the United States Natural Gas Fund up 2.49% to $23.85. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was down 0.19% to 22.26 while SPDR Gold Shares were down 0.38% to $123.74. The iShares Silver Trust was down 0.61% to $14.74.

Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:


NYSE Composite Index was up 2.98 points (+0.02%) to 12,295.12

Dow Jones Industrial Index was down 34.25 points (-0.14%) to 25,072.08

S&P 500 was up 1.67 points (+0.06%) to 2,709.55

Nasdaq Composite Index was up 13.88 points (+0.19%) to 7,312.08


FTSE 100 was up 57.93 points (+0.82%) to 7,129.11

DAX was up 107.81 points (+0.99%) to 11,014.59

CAC 40 was up 52.83 points (+1.07%) to 5,014.47

Nikkei 225 was closed

Hang Seng Index was up 197.52 points (+0.71%) to 28,143.84

Shanghai China Composite Index was up 35.66 points (+1.36%) to 2,653.90


NYSE Energy Sector Index was up 24.27 points (+0.24%) to 10,277.62

NYSE Financial Sector Index was down 1.92 points (-0.04%) to 7,580.05

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index was down 77.16 points (-0.52%) to 15,562.22


(+) SPI (+43.34%) Nasdaq granted request for continued listing

(+) OTLK (+16.29%) CEO Lawrence Kenyon buys 25,000 shares

(+) NUVA (+15.04%) Reportedly eyed by Smith & Nephew ( SNN )


(-) KOPN (-16.03%) Announced $20 million at-the-market stock offering

(-) EARS (-14.93%) Did not meet Nasdaq compliance to maintain listing

(-) RGSE (-7.56%) To delist from Nasdaq Capital Market

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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