Stocks edge closer to flatline after initial jump

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Stocks are higher but pull back from opening gains, after Pres. Trump delayed a tariff rate increase on Chinese imports and the European Central Bank issued a dovish-minded policy stance; Dow flat, S&P +0.1%, Nasdaq +0.2%.

Trump’s move to delay additional tariff increases on Chinese goods by two weeks raises hopes of a thaw in trade frictions.

Meanwhile, the ECB cut its deposit rate by 10 bps and launched a new program to buy €20B worth of assets for as long as needed.

European bourses trade mostly higher, with France’s CAC +0.4% and Germany’s DAX +0.2%, but U.K.’s FTSE -0.1%; in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei and China’s Shanghai Composite both closed +0.8%.

In the U.S., a look at the S&P 500 sectors shows real estate (+0.8%), utilities (+0.7%) and health care (+0.7%) atop the early leaderboard, while the energy (-1.3%) and financials (-0.5%) sectors trail the field.

Energy stocks are pressured by tumbling crude prices, with October WTI -2.4% to $54.39/bbl after Saudi Arabia said deeper OPEC production cuts would not be discussed until December.

U.S. Treasury yields have dropped to session lows, pressured by a 7 bps slide in the German bund yield to -0.63% after the ECB decision, as the U.S. benchmark 10-year note yield falls 3 bps to 1.70% and the two-year yield slips 2 bps to 1.65%; U.S. Dollar Index +0.4% to 99.04 amid weakness in the euro.