Dow turns lower as industrial stocks weigh

Tuesday, 13 Mar, 2018

Shares of companies such as Boeing Co (BA.N), down 2.9 percent, and Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N), down 2.4 percent, have been under pressure as Trump's protectionist stance on steel and aluminium imports could increase costs and hamper sales overseas. The S&P 500 closed at 2,783.02 for a loss of -3.55 points or -0.13%. The price action suggests the brut of any retaliation will be felt by the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 Index with the tech-based NASDAQ Composite primarily getting a pass. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 1.8 percent to 25,335.74.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the economy added 313,000 jobs in February, well-above the 200,000 estimate.

Traders of USA short-term interest-rate futures, however, have reeled bets back in on the Federal Reserve delivering any more than the earlier forecast three rate hikes this year. At 1230 GMT, investors will get the opportunity to react to the latest USA data on consumer inflation.

"The underlying macroeconomic backdrop is still pretty intact, and stocks continue to be supported by good earnings", said Michael Mullaney, director of global markets research at Boston Partners.

It had also risen against the euro (+0.2pc), but was steady against the British pound and Japanese yen.

Several stocks were moving on deal news.

ALL EYES ON TECH: Optical communications company Oclaro surged after it agreed to be bought by optical networking company Lumentum Holdings. Lumentum's shares rose 7.6 percent.

Longtime Dow Chemical Co. leader Andrew Liveris plans to step down (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-chemicals-andrew-liveris-to-depart-next-month-as-jim-fitterling-to-be-ceo-of-new-dow-2018-03-12) next month.

Shares of Broadcom jumped 3.2 per cent after a Wall Street Journal report that Intel is considering bidding for the chip company, which has undertaken a hostile campaign to buy Qualcomm. The company said Jeff Fettig will become its new chairman.

Australian shares eased 0.59%.

Shares of Broadcom Ltd. rose 3.6% after the Singapore-based semiconductor company said it expects to complete its relocation to the U.S. by 3 April.

Weaker-than-expected consumer inflation data on Tuesday and producer inflation data on Wednesday could give stocks a boost while putting further pressure on the struggling U.S. Dollar.

Oil prices traded lower as Brent crude futures fell 0.61 percent to trade at $65.09 per barrel, while US WTI crude futures declined 0.50 percent to trade at $61.73 a barrel.