Stocks began the day in negative ground as investors remain cautious regarding the trade fight between the U.S. and China. The latest headlines adding to the trade jitters involved the potential for more Chinese technology companies to be blacklisted by the U.S. The averages did not react strongly to the release of the minutes from the most recent rate setting meeting held by the Fed, but the minutes also failed to give the averages any boost, leaving stocks to drift in the red into the close.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting show that the Fed plans to remain patient when evaluating rate moves. The Fed added, according to the minutes, that investors reportedly remain concerned about the economic outlook for Europe and the United Kingdom, while market prices appeared to reflect perceptions of improved economic prospects in China.
In White House news, President Trump told reporters that he would not engage in any negotiations, including on an infrastructure deal, with Democrats as long as he was under investigation by several committees. Prior to such comments, the president abruptly walked out of a meeting with Democratic lawmakers that was meant to be the second official sit-down specifically focused on infrastructure, according to CNBC.
TOP NEWS: Shares of Qualcomm (QCOM) fell 10.9% after a U.S. district court judge ruled in favor of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in the FTC's litigation against the company. Qualcomm, which "strongly disagrees with the judge's conclusions," said it will seek a stay of the district court's judgment and an expedited appeal.
Target (TGT) shares rose 7.8% after it reported stronger comp sales growth and firmer gross margins that drove earnings upside in the first quarter. Conversely, Lowe's (LOW) reported better than expected U.S. comps but with disappointing margin performance and a worse than expected outlook, sending its shares down 11.8%. Meanwhile, Nordstrom (JWN) sunk 9.2% after the company said it experienced a further deceleration in sales trends in Q1 due to "executional misses."
In M&A news, Avon Products (AVP) and Natura & Co. each confirmed that they are in advanced discussions regarding a potential all-stock merger transaction, after which Avon shares rose 9.1%. Additionally, International Speedway (ISCA) agreed to be acquired by NASCAR in a transaction valued at approximately $2B, or $45 per share in cash.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Inphi (IPHI), which rose 5.4% after updating its Q2 outlook based on the company's understanding of the Executive Order issued to the United States Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security to add Huawei Technologies and its affiliates to the Bureau's Entity List. Also higher was Sea Limited (SE), which gained 24.2% after reporting quarterly results.
Among the notable losers was Ambarella (AMBA), which slid 11.4% following reports that Chinese video surveillance companies are at risk of being placed on a U.S. blacklist. Also lower was Pure Storage (PSTG), which fell 24.8% after reporting quarterly results.
INDEXES: The Dow fell 100.72, or 0.39%, to 25,776.61, the Nasdaq lost 34.88, or 0.45%, to 7,750.84, and the S&P 500 declined 8.09, or 0.28%, to 2,856.27.