U.S. stocks closed mostly lower Monday as the U.S.-China trade war entered a new phase when tariffs on billions of dollars of products took effect. While Wall Street has repeatedly ignored the threat of rising trade tensions, focusing instead on strong economic data and corporate fundamentals, there remain concerns that the situation could escalate into a full-blown trade war, which could have a more severe impact on global demand and growth.
The Federal Reserve's two-day monetary policy meeting, which wraps Wednesday and is likely to result in another interest-rate hike, followed by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's news conference during which investors are expected to seek insight into the state of the economy, the impact of trade issues, or any potential change to central-bank policy.
US's Politics could also contribute to some market uncertainty as the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is looking less than certain with Kavanaugh's former Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez alleging the judge exposed himself to her at a party.
Economic data: the Chicago Fed's national activity index came in at 0.18 in August, unchanged from the previous month.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.68% fell 181.45 points to 26,562.05 after closing at a record on Friday.
The S&P 500 SPX, -0.35% lost 10.31 points to 2,919.37.
The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.08% reversed earlier loss to rise 6.29 points to 7,993.25.
Summary closely tied to the trade issue was among the biggest decliners materials and industrials were both down more than 1%. Stocks have been in a broad uptrend of late; the S&P 500 has risen in eight of the past 10 trading days, as of Friday, and the Dow posted its biggest weekly gain since July last week.
Stocks were in focus
Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM, +1.68% climbed 1.7% and Chevron Corp. CVX, +1.23% was up 1.2% on the back of strong crude oil prices.
Comcast Corp. CMCSA, -5.99% topped 21st Century Fox Inc. FOXA, +1.53% in a three-round auction for Sky PLC SKYAY, +8.70% winning the broadcaster with a $38.8 billion bid. Shares of Comcast slumped 6% while U.S.-listed shares of Sky gained 8.7%.
US Dollar, Gold & Oil
Gold GCM9, +0.16% settled higher climbed while the U.S. dollar index DXY, +0.10% was generally flat. Crude-oil prices CLK9, -0.04% rallied and Brent-crude futures LCOK9, +0.05% traded near their highest level in more than three years. The rise came as major energy producers declined to commit to increasing crude output to address expected supply disruptions at a closely watched producer meeting.