By Erik Sherman
January 7, 2019

Optimist or pessimist, there’s plenty of equity grist for the mill. Early on Monday, U.S.-China trade talk resumptions and a strong jobs market report in the U.S. helped markets feel more hopeful. MSCI’s world equity index, tracking stocks in 47 countries, was at an almost three-week high by Sunday night.

It didn’t last long.

Shortly after some optimism in Asia, European stocks took a dive. The culprits: no-deal Brexit preparations, surveys predicting slower growth in the Eurozone, and U.S. government shutdown day 17.

Wall Street traders and investors continue to have the jitters. Each day brings a new mix of news driving volatility, with no one certain as to whether a given bit of information will be seen as good or bad. Increased recession fears aren’t helping.

Stock futures activity on Monday first showed the S&P 500 and Nasdaq down, with the Dow up slightly. In under an hour, it was Nasdaq down a touch, the S&P 500 up just a bit, and the Dow showing a 0.2% increase.

The Nasdaq negativity might have something to do with Chinese investment in U.S. tech, as Reuters reported. Venture funds from China poured $3 billion into startups here. But Donald Trump’s moves to limit China’s access to American innovation have stopped the money flow.

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