U.S. equities are weaker in pre-market trading
U.S. equities are weaker in pre-market trading, extending what were ultimately modest declines yesterday. The catalyst on Monday was a tweet over the weekend by President Trump threatening a fresh round of tariffs on China, which took markets by surprise as speculation last week was that a trade deal would be signed by June. Wall Street plummeted early in Monday's session. Yet the initial shock gave way to a sober assessment of the President's tariff threat, which can credibly be viewed as a negotiation tactic. The Dow closed 0.3% lower on Monday, while the S&P 500 was off 0.5% and the NASDAQ fell 0.5%. The Dow mini is 0.6% in the red this morning, while the S&P 500 has lost 0.7% and the NASDAQ is 0.8% weaker. Today's declines come despite confirmation that China's Vice President Liu will visit the U.S. on May 9 and 10 for further talks -- there was speculation yesterday that he would not attend. European stocks are softer, with the Euro Stoxx 50 down 0.7% amid a cut in the growth forecast for the region from the European Commission. Meanwhile, China's CSI 300 rose 1.0%, recovering some of Monday's losses. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.5%. Japan's Nikkei fell 1.5% in a catch-up trade as markets reopened after an extended holiday.