Trade war talk keeps markets uncertain

Stocks are lower at mid morning Wednesday. The departure of Gary Cohn from his position as an economic adviser to President Trump seems to signal that the anti-trade factions in the administration are more likely to get their way. While actual policies have yet to be enumerated, uncertainty is always bad for business, and doubly so when it seems like rule changes could spark a wave of retaliatory tariffs.

At present, the S&P 500 is down 0.43%, the DJIA is down 0.61%, and the NASDAQ is down 0.17%.

Industries doing well today include Diversified Consumer Services, Life Sciences Tools & Services, and Software. Industries showing weakness include Multiline Retail, Specialty Retail, and Food Products. The VIX is up 0.49 to 18.85 after closing yesterday at 18.36. The most heavily traded options this morning are for the iShares Russell 2000 Index ETF (IWM), with 10,000 Jun. 15 130 puts on the board. The total put/call ratio as of 10:00 AM was 0.84 (219,815/261,983). The advancers/decliners ratio for NYSE stocks is 1,227/1,647, while the advancers/decliners ratio for NASDAQ stocks is 1,570/1,294.

Symbols: IWM
Bobby Raines

Bobby Raines

Bobby Raines is the Managing Editor of the Market Intelligence Center. He has degrees in Mass Communications and History from Emory & Henry College. Bobby worked at a mid-sized daily newspaper before making a switch to covering the financial industry full time in the years leading up to the financial crisis. He has been a member of the Fresh Brewed Media team since 2011 and has served as a writer and analyst. You can write to him at or follow him on Twitter: @BRatMICenter.

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