Dow dives as enthusiasm for Trump's trade truce fades

The Dow dropped 799 points, or 3.1%, Tuesday as investors realized the trade war between the U.S. and China is far from over.

Posted: Dec 5, 2018 1:09 PM
Updated: Dec 5, 2018 1:09 PM

After President Donald Trump helped send markets tanking by feeding doubts about his trade deal with China, he stepped in Wednesday to pump up optimism in a series of early-morning tweets.

The US President cited "very strong signals" overnight from Beijing, including recognition of a 90-day clock for talks -- a key point that had been omitted in readouts from Beijing after Trump's Saturday night dinner meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce also reaffirmed Beijing's pledge to "implementing already-agreed-on specific points as quickly as possible."

It was welcome news for the American president after Tuesday's nearly 800-point slip on Wall Street -- Trump's favorite economic indicator.

Trump himself set off investor jitters with a series of Twitter posts Tuesday, issuing renewed threats to hike import duties if a deal isn't reached. "I am a Tariff Man," the President wrote.

Late Tuesday evening, he stepped in to reassure investors a deal with Beijing would happen "either now or into the future" after his top economic advisers spent the day attempting to do damage control in a series of appearances at a Wall Street Journal conference in Washington and on business news programs.

The White House has sought to portray developments with China as significant, pointing to never-before-seen participation by Xi as well as the direct engagement between the two presidents.

Trump went so far as to describe the Buenos Aires dinner as "extraordinary" and a "BIG leap forward," in a tweet Monday. But scant details and few public commitments by China on what its commitments would be under the verbal agreement between Trump and Xi erased some market exuberance over what was brokered between the world's two largest trading partners.

Along with confusion about whether Trump might still follow through with his threat to hike tariffs to 25%, markets remained uncertain about when relief from Beijing's own retaliatory tariffs might be coming -- particularly regarding the resumption of soybean and other agricultural imports blocked earlier this year after Trump imposed higher duties on Chinese products and auto tariffs.

Trump's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Tuesday publicly said Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, a key figure in the trade discussions, gave assurances that Beijing was prepared to move quickly without offering specifics.

"Immediately? He said, 'Yeah,'" Kudlow relayed to the audience at the Wall Street Journal's CEO Council annual conference in Washington.

"Immediately is a good word. What does that mean?" Kudlow said he asked He. "You mean Monday? Wednesday? And actually, I don't know the answer to that."

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also tried to sell the deal as big win for the US, if reached, reassuring investors at the same Wall Street Journal event that Trump and Xi had agreed on "very, very specific issues" that touched on top American concerns related to intellectual property, forced technology, joint ventures and cyberissues.

"If we can get this right, this is one of the biggest economic opportunities for US businesses, US workers and the US economy," said Mnuchin.

The secretary stressed China made pledges well beyond Xi's willingness to take a second look at a $44 billion deal for Qualcomm Inc. to purchase NXP Semiconductors NV and roughly $1.2 trillion in commitments to purchase US agricultural, energy and other goods from the United States. "That was not the case at all," said Mnuchin.

"This was the first time that China responded to us on the structural side with very specific items," he said. The Treasury secretary said the Chinese government responded to a 30-page document sent by the Trump administration by providing a 142-item list with specific responses ahead of the dinner. There, Xi spoke for 45 minutes walking Trump through a "very specific plan," Mnuchin recounted.

Trump on Wednesday blamed Xi's longer trip home for the delay in reciprocal public statements from Beijing confirming Washington's version of the agreement.

"Very strong signals being sent by China once they returned home from their long trip, including stops, from Argentina," the President tweeted.

"Not to sound naive or anything, but I believe President Xi meant every word of what he said at our long and hopefully historic meeting," Trump tweeted. "ALL subjects discussed!"

That included fentanyl, a Chinese import Trump has vowed to stamp out. The President again on Wednesday hailed China's decision to label fentanyl a controlled substance a "game changer."

The US says China is the primary source of fentanyl found within US borders, according to a 2017 US congressional report citing law enforcement and drug investigators. The President declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency last year and whatever the final arrangement on trade, a commitment from the Chinese to crack down on fentanyl would be a win he can point to.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, who is overseeing the White House's opioid response, told reporters ahead of the President's trip that shipments of fentanyl, which has resulted in the deaths of 30,000 Americans last year, "had to stop."

After years of negotiations dating back to President Barack Obama, China finally agreed at Saturday's dinner to designate the synthetic opioid fentanyl as a controlled substance -- meaning sellers would be subject to the maximum penalty under the law.

Trump again on Wednesday applauded giving sellers of the drug the death penalty, echoing his previous comments on stringent punishment for drug dealers, tweeting: "The results will be incredible!"

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 34622

Reported Deaths: 1215
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds282449
DeSoto186519
Madison141936
Jones118549
Harrison109615
Rankin106315
Neshoba103976
Forrest97243
Lauderdale95481
Scott80915
Jackson74418
Washington70010
Copiah64215
Leake62120
Lee60022
Oktibbeha58928
Holmes57941
Warren57720
Grenada5698
Wayne56018
Yazoo5486
Lowndes53613
Leflore52856
Lamar5227
Lincoln51935
Pike48820
Sunflower4708
Lafayette4644
Monroe43935
Panola4326
Covington4295
Bolivar39418
Simpson3843
Attala38324
Newton36710
Adams34719
Pontotoc3396
Tate33313
Marion32412
Claiborne30011
Winston29611
Chickasaw29319
Pearl River28132
Noxubee2778
Marshall2763
Jasper2716
Clay25611
Walthall2497
Union24611
Smith23712
Coahoma2196
Clarke21725
Lawrence2022
Yalobusha2028
Kemper18314
Tallahatchie1784
Carroll17411
Humphreys16110
Calhoun1605
Montgomery1513
Itawamba1458
Tippah14411
Hancock14113
Webster13411
Jefferson1223
Tunica1213
Jefferson Davis1184
Prentiss1173
George1123
Greene11210
Amite1083
Quitman971
Tishomingo971
Wilkinson969
Alcorn942
Perry794
Choctaw754
Stone732
Franklin542
Sharkey470
Benton440
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6219167
Mobile4625138
Montgomery4397111
Tuscaloosa258652
Madison19839
Marshall190411
Shelby155724
Lee153537
Morgan12415
Baldwin117011
Walker105631
Elmore100721
Dallas9789
Franklin92816
Etowah91914
DeKalb8647
Russell6650
Chambers66427
Autauga66214
Butler64529
Tallapoosa62569
Unassigned61627
Limestone5963
Houston5616
Lauderdale5556
Cullman5546
St. Clair4842
Colbert4816
Lowndes48022
Escambia4688
Pike4675
Calhoun4565
Coffee4164
Covington40312
Jackson4022
Barbour3772
Bullock37610
Dale3721
Talladega3677
Hale34323
Marengo34211
Clarke3036
Wilcox2998
Chilton2952
Winston2925
Sumter28713
Blount2811
Marion26714
Pickens2626
Monroe2553
Randolph2489
Conecuh2278
Perry2242
Bibb2151
Macon2129
Choctaw20912
Greene1929
Henry1463
Washington1367
Crenshaw1263
Lawrence1210
Cherokee1157
Geneva950
Lamar871
Clay822
Fayette811
Coosa631
Cleburne421
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Broken Clouds
78° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 81°
Columbus
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 73°
Oxford
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 82°
Starkville
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 70°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather