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U.S. stocks came off earlier highs but still closed up Tuesday as investors shrugged off escalating trade tensions to instead focus on the robust economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 184.84 points, or 0.7%, to 26,246.96 the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 60.32 points, or 0.8%, to 7,956.11 and the S&P 500 advanced 15.51 points, or 0.5%, to end at 2,904.31.
European markets meanwhile struggled to get out of a tight range in the day’s trading. The Stoxx Europe 600 finished the day 0.1% higher at 378.73. Germany’s DAX 30 closed 0.5% higher at 12,157.67, while France’s CAC 40 added 0.3% to 5,363.79. German retailer Zalando SE was the worst performer of the day, while Swiss chemicals firm Clariant AG SA rallied.
Danske Bank CEO stepping down
Danske Bank A/S Chief Executive Officer Thomas Borgen will step down amid allegations his bank was at the center of a major European money laundering scandal with as much as $234 billion flowing through a tiny Estonian unit. Borgen, who was promoted to run Denmark’s biggest bank in 2013, will continue in his job until a replacement is found, Danske said on Wednesday. It didn’t give any indication of how long that might take.
“It is clear that Danske Bank has failed to live up to its responsibility in the case of possible money laundering in Estonia,” Borgen said in the statement. “I deeply regret this.” Shares in Danske opened more than 6 percent lower in the Danish capital, bringing losses this year to 32 percent. Since its latest peak in May 2017, Danske’s market value has plunged by about $14 billion.
Deepening US-China trade war
The U.S.-China trade war deepened as Beijing announced retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. goods and the Trump administration threatened duties on virtually all Chinese imports. The sides also indicated there could still be scope to reach a trade deal. The Chinese government is still willing to negotiate, the country’s finance ministry said on Tuesday. Kevin Hassett, the chairman of Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers, said he expected that U.S.-China talks can still take place.
Stocks shrugged off the latest ratcheting up of trade tensions, with the S&P 500 Index, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite Index all higher. The calm reaction has some investors saying the markets had already priced in 10 percent tariffs and that it could’ve been worse. The Trump administration tailored its final list of Chinese targets to help ensure American consumers don’t feel the pinch, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Tuesday.
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