Stocks endured a second week of trade-fomented volatility, with fresh tariffs and mixed signals on the state of U.S.-Chinese talks whipsawing markets. After traveling 91 points between a 2,801 low Monday and a 2,892 high Thursday, the S&P 500 Index finished the week down 0.8 percent at 2,859. Meanwhile, Chinese equities plunged 1.9 percent in a fourth down week. Historical 10-day volatility on the U.S. benchmark gauge, a measure of price swings during the period, has climbed to the highest level since mid-January.
A week after President Trump upended financial markets by escalating the trade war, China retaliated with tariffs of its own, sending stocks to the biggest drop in four months on Monday. The president softened his stance the next day, saying he had a “feeling” talks would go well, sparking a rebound in equities that persisted until Friday, when China hardened its rhetoric. “People are betting that an agreement will be made. That’s why you keep seeing markets rally back from drops on otherwise negative headlines and end up positive,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for Independent Advisor Alliance.
The Treasury will sell $36 billion of three-month bills and $36 billion of six-month bills Monday. They yielded 2.39 and 2.41 percent in when-issued trading. The government will also sell four-week bills, eight-week bills and $11 billion of Treasury Inflation Protected Securities on Thursday.