Wall Street ends mixed with modest moves with DJIA losing momentum and resisted at late March lows

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA climbed about 7 points, or less than 0.1%, to finish at 25,710
  • The S&P 500 index SPX dropped a modest 0.1% to 2,808.
  • The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP ended down by about 0.2% at 7,630. 

Despite notching a fourth straight session of gains, price action was tepid on Wall Street and the Dow Jones Industrial Average only managed to eke out a modest gain, adding just 7 points, or less than 0.1%, to close the session off at 25,710 - Once again, the focus was on stocks prices in Boeing Co. BA, -0.07% which was weighty on the bellwether index. 

Stocks on Wall Street gave up some of the previous day gains due to headlines originating from Bloomberg News that a meeting between Trump and Xi to sign a trade agreement now won’t happen until April at the earliest. The news followed data from overnight that showed China’s domestic activity was sluggish with mixed data with the overall index steady at 8.2% for January and February. However, property investment had jumped to 11.6% in the first two months of the year, lifted by growth in eastern and western China - still, credit risk for developers remains a concern. Meanwhile, the Industrial production scored a decade-low of 5.3% as the manufacturing sector continues to feel the pinch of trade tensions with the U.S. As for U.S data, New home sales in the US fell 6.9% in January, the weakest since October.

Brexit: UK government motion to extend Brexit beyond 29 March

Elsewhere eyes were on UK Parliament voting where ministers voted this morning on an extension to Brexit and on a motion for a referendum:

"This morning British MPs heavily favoured the government motion to extend Brexit beyond 29 March. The British Parliament now has to formally request an extension to article 50. The extension would then have to be unanimously approved by the 27 EU leaders, but it is expected this will be granted. The length of the extension is key. If politicians agree to the deal that May has previously tabled then only a short extension will be required, whereas a new plan will require a significant extension and therefore heighten the risk that Brexit will actually happen. It now appears more likely that the current deal will be pushed through. Labour members were told to abstain from the referendum vote, although 25 MPs defied party orders. The motion was rejected by a wide majority. A bid for Parliament to take control of the Brexit process was defeated by just 2 votes meaning May is still in control for now,"

analysts at ANZ Bank explained.

DJIA levels

The DJIA was trading within a relatively narrow range on Thursday between 25621 and 25752, grounded having lost momentum to the upside earlier in the month when the index was falling away from the 78.6% Fibo target located at 25840. The price has been resisted at the late March lows at 25761 and continued failures there opens risk towards a downside target at the 61.8% Fibo level positioned beneath the 25000 psychological level at 24847. A break there brings in the 38.2% Fibo at 24500 and then the 50% Fibo just below the psychological 24000 level.

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