Stocks are lower for a second straight morning as trade talks are once again dominating the narrative, but today's trading action differs from yesterday's in that there has been little sign of buyers stepping in to buy the dip. A number of U.S. officials, including Robert Lighthizer, Steve Mnuchin, Peter Navarro and Larry Kudlow, echoed President Trump's threat that tariffs on China are set to rise Friday morning and accused China of "reneging" on its prior commitments, leading the market to apparently conclude today that the odds of a tariff increase to end this week are much higher than it may have seemed yesterday when the President's tweets were being largely shaken off as a negotiating ploy. Although Treasury Secretary Mnuchin did hold out hope for a deferral should progress be achieved this week, investors are bracing for the trade fight to continue and for tariffs to rise.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the JOLTS report showed that job openings bounced 346,000 to about 7.49M in March, recouping much of the decline reported in the prior month.
In Europe, German factory orders for March rose 0.6% month-over-month, which was below the 1.4% growth that had been forecast.
TOP NEWS: Anadarko Petroleum (APC) announced that its board of directors has unanimously determined that the revised acquisition proposal from Occidental Petroleum (OXY) constitutes a "superior proposal" and that the company intends to terminate the Chevron (CVX) merger agreement in order to enter into a definitive merger agreement with Occidental. Chevron has the right, during the four business day period ending on May 10, to propose revisions to the terms of its agreement or to make another proposal.
Shares of Mylan (MYL) are down 18% near noon after the company reported better than expected first quarter earnings and backed its full-year profit forecast, but also posted worse than expected revenue.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was AIG (AIG), which rose 7.5% after its reported better than expected adjusted earnings for the first quarter.
Also higher after reporting quarterly results were Cohu (COHU) and SolarEdge (SEDG), which gained a respective 27% and 21%.
Among the notable losers was Catalyst Pharmaceuticals (CPRX), which dropped 39% after the FDA approved Ruzurgi tablets for the treatment of Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome, or LEMS, in patients 6 to less than 17 years of age.
Catalyst currently sells the only other treatment approved for LEMS, Firdapse, which is only approved for use in adults. Also lower were Intersect ENT (XENT) and Glu Mobile (GLUU), which fell 22% and 17%, respectively, after reporting quarterly results.
INDEXES: Near midday,
the Dow was down 433.30, or 1.64% to 26,005.18
, the Nasdaq was down 148.94, or 1.83%, to 7,974.35
, and the S&P 500 was down 48.15, or 1.64%, to 2,884.32.