U.S. equities stumbled after trade talks
U.S. equities stumbled after trade talks ended with few details for all the prior rejoicing, while a handful of year-end stumbles in the retail sector were noteworthy. Trump also reportedly walked out of meetings with Schumer and Pelosi after they refused to budge on wall funding. Jobless claims surprisingly sank 17k into the teeth of the government shutdown, though that could reverse if the shutdown continues. Led by Macy's slumping 18% on poor holiday sales and outlook, multiple retailers followed suit with big single digit declines, such as Wal-mart, Kohls, Target, Nordstrom, etc. Big cap tech also took a breather after the recent rebound, while Amazon sank further as the market digests CEO Bezos divorce implications. Ford gained marginally after announcing plans to slash 1000's of jobs in Europe as it cuts production and models there. Crude oil also sank 1.3%, reversing part of yesterday's 5% windfall. The Dow is 50-points lower, S&P sank 12-points and NASDAQ is off 40-points in pre-open trade. Asia was mostly weaker, with the N-225 of 1.3%, HK Hang Seng +0.2% and China CSI -0.2%. Europe is mainly in shallow negative territory. A spate of Fedspeak remains on tap, anchored by Chair Powell, along with 30-year auction results.