Global stocks fell Tuesday amid Federal Reserve mixed signals as well as negotiations on trade talks between the U.S. and China.
On Monday evening, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell gave no fresh impetus to markets when he said the central bank cut interest rates this year in part because officials decided that the economy was not as good as expected. He also reaffirmed that monetary policy would not change unless economic conditions changed substantially, and the current rate levels were adequate to support the labor market and boost inflation.
Investors also had no new indications of concrete progress in trade negotiations, although the Chinese Ministry of Commerce reported on Tuesday that Chinese and U.S. officials reached consensus on solving relevant issues in a phone call. Without elaborating, the two sides discussed issues related to their critical concerns, the ministry said. The Shanghai Composite Index nearly closed flat, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong slipped by 0.3%.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise dropped 4 percent ahead of the opening bell on the back of a larger-than-expected fall in sales for the fourth quarter, which it announced after Monday’s close. Palo Alto Networks was also lower, which fell 7.7 percent in off-hour trading following the outlook of the cybersecurity firm for the disappointed investors in the current quarter.
Over in Europe, Compass Group was one of the biggest losers after a 5.2 percent fall in trading in London. The food service company reported a decline in income for fiscal 2019.
Later today, a slew of U.S. data including the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index will be available, offering an overview of changes in the value of residential property across 20 U.S. markets. Also due are reports on new home sales, which are expected to show continued growth, as well as the consumer confidence index of the Conference Board, which is expected to show an increase in sentiment.