Friday's Stock Market Open: Traders Turn To Profit-Taking

Traders turned to profit-taking Friday to take advantage of this week’s runup as confusion surfaced on the timing of a phase 1 trade deal with China.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 4 points shortly after the open to 27,670 while the Nasdaq dropped a point to 8,432 and the S&P 500 gave up 2 points to 3,083.

Trump administration advisers were giving mixed signals on a trade deal with China with economic adviser Larry Kudlow saying tariffs would be eased gradually and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer saying no agreement on tariffs is yet in place.

President Trump had planned to sign a deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the now-canceled Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Chile next week but negotiations are dragging on and a new site for the signing has yet to be chosen.

Elsewhere, 96 more Sears (SHLDQ) and Kmart stores will be closed, reducing the number of locations nationwide to 182 from nearly 2,000 five years ago. The once-ubiquitous chain has been felled by online giants and the likes of Walmart.

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has invested $400 million in Travis Kalanick’s Cloud Kitchens, the Wall Street Journal reported. CloudKitchens builds “ghost” kitchens it rents to restaurants that want to take advantage of the boom in food delivery services. The kitchens also run their own delivery-only restaurants.

On the earnings front, Walt Disney Co. (DIS) reported a 52% revenue increase and 79% jump in operating income in its movie division in the quarter ending Sept. 28 but overall profit slumped by more than half to $1.05 billion on rising production costs.

Global markets were mostly lower.

In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was off 0.7% and China’s Shanghai Composite gave up 0.49% while Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.26%. Australia’s S&P/ASX was off 0.04%.

In early afternoon trading in Europe, London’s FTSE 100 was off 0.49% while the German DAX lost 0.37% and the French CAC gave up 0.21%. The Stoxx Europe 600 was 0.27% lower.

On currency markets, the British pound was off 0.02% at $1.28.12 while the euro was off 0.21% to $1.1027. The U.S. dollar index was up 0.2%.

Oil futures were lower. Crude oil fell 1.73% to $56.16 a barrel and Brent crude gave up 1.86% to $16.13. Gold and Silver were lower.