Stocks declined for a second day after U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said America is pushing for a trade deal with China that includes “significant structural changes” to the Asian nation’s economic model. The dollar strengthened and bond yields rose.
Equities were already trending lower before Lighthizer’s Congressional comments amid fresh headwinds from disappointing corporate earnings and geopolitical tension in Asia. Japan equities came off their highs and Hong Kong shares erased an advance after Pakistan downed two Indian jets. While news of the worst escalation between the two nations since the 1971 war initially boosted the yen and weakened India’s rupee, volatility gauges continued lower.
The S&P 500 Index fell 0.3 percent as of 11:27 a.m. New York time, while the Nasdaq Composite Index slumped 0.4 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.5 percent.