US Stocks Stable After Midday Trump Tumble

Wall Street stocks finished little changed Tuesday, rebounding from a mid-session swoon sparked by unease over Donald Trump Jr’s interactions with Russian interests.

Markets had been chugging through a sleepy session until the midday release of emails by the US president’s son showing the younger Trump embraced Russia’s efforts to support his father’s presidential campaign, reviving worries that White House’s Russia travails could derail the agenda.

US stocks turned sharply negative for a brief period, while the news also jolted markets in Europe.

But markets steadied soon after as investors concluded the Russia story “is still pretty contained,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank.

Equity markets in London, Paris and Frankfurt all finished modestly lower. US indices were mixed, with the Dow flat and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index the strongest performer.

Investors globally are contending with the prospects of tighter monetary conditions as central banks move away from the era of zero interest rates as inflation and growth gather pace,.

Anticipation is high ahead of Wednesday’s congressional testimony from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who is expected to update lawmakers on the outlook for the economy and further interest rate increases.

“We’re just trying to better understand the trajectory of the economy as the central banks appear to be making a coordinated move to tighten,” Ablin said.

Among individual stocks, shares of publishing giant Pearson slumped 6.2 percent on the group’s cautious shareholder dividend plans.

The announcement was made alongside news that the company had agreed to sell 22 percent of Penguin Random House to joint venture partner Bertelsmann of Germany for $1.0 billion (877 million euros).

The second biggest loser on the FTSE 100 was British retail giant Marks and Spencer, whose stock slid 3.9 percent to 325.70 pence on poor sales during its first quarter.

Snap, the parent of photo messaging app Snapchat, dropped 9.1 percent to close below $15.50 following a downgrade from Morgan Stanley, which expressed concern at the progress of competitor Instagram. That put it below the $17 price for its initial public offering in March.

New York – S&P 500: DOWN 0.1 percent at 2,425.53 (close)

New York – Nasdaq: UP 0.3 percent at 6,193.30 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1463 from $1.1399

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2844 from $1.2879

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 113.89 yen from 114.07

Oil – Brent North Sea: UP 64 cents at $47.52 per barrel

Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP 64 cents at $45.04 per barrel

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