Stocks – Wall Street Lower as Investors Eye Geopolitical Tensions

US STOCKS-Wall St set to open lower as Trump-Kim summit starts, India-Pakistan tensions flare
February 27, 2019
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Stocks – Wall Street Lower as Investors Eye Geopolitical Tensions – Wall Street fell on Wednesday, as geopolitical tensions between India and Pakistan and uncertainty over the second U.S.-North Korea summit lowered investor sentiment.

The S&P 500 fell 7 points or 0.27% as of 9:30 AM ET (14:30 GMT), while the Dowlost 62 points, or 0.24%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite decreased 23 points, or 0.31%.

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un kicked off their second meeting in Hanoi. Trump said he will not back down on U.S. demands for North Korea to denuclearize, but the small country has not given any signs that is something it will do.

India and Pakistan, which are both nuclear-armed, said on Wednesday that they have launched airstrikes against each other as cross-border attacks began for the first time since a 1971 war.

Meanwhile Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is set to testify before the Senate Banking Committee but is not expected to move markets.

“We don’t expect (Federal Reserve Chair Jerome) Powell’s second round of testimony before the U.S. House Financial Committee to change, thereby keeping the focus on geopolitical worries and the Trump-Kim summit that will likely lead to a mixed market session.” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE:BBY) was among the top gainers in premarket trading, jumping 13.5% after posting an upbeat profit forecast, while Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) gained 0.98% and General Electric (NYSE:GE) was up 1%.

Elsewhere, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) slipped 0.4% while Weight Watchers International Inc (NASDAQ:WTW) slumped 33.5% after its fourth-quarter earnings fell short of consensus and its revenue guidance for 2019 also missed estimates.

In commodities, gold futures slipped 0.11% to $1,327.05 a troy ounce while crude oiljumped 2.11% to $56.67 a barrel. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was flat at 95.89.

-Reuters contributed to this report.