➤ S&P 500 falls, even as JPMorgan, Citi beat earnings estimates.
➤ US removes China's currency manipulator designation, ahead of trade deal signing tomorrow.
➤ Dollar strengthens after US inflation data.
➤ China imports surge past expectations.
Wall Street retreated from record highs as the biggest banks kicked off the latest earnings season, with a trade deal signing ceremony between the U.S. and China scheduled for tomorrow.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 were down 0.2% each around 9:32 a.m. ET, after U.S. stock markets hit another record high yesterday.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. shares gained 0.6% and 0.5%, respectively, as both beat EPS expectations. Wells Fargo & Co., however, missed estimates, sending its shares down nearly 4%.
The U.S. removed its designation on China as a currency manipulator ahead of the deal signing. The "phase one" trade deal between the two countries contains "enforceable commitments" from Beijing to "refrain from competitive devaluation, while promoting transparency and accountability," U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
Separately, the U.S. Treasury is set to implement new regulations expanding the government's oversight of certain foreign investments into the country in a bid to better address national security risks.
Europe equities were mixed, as the FTSE 100 rose 0.1% while France's CAC 40 lost 0.1%. Germany's DAX index was flat.
The Shanghai SE Composite fell 0.3% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed 0.2% lower as China recorded a larger-than-expected annual rise in imports during the final month of 2019, when the country reached an initial trade deal aimed at diffusing tensions with the U.S.
Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.7%.
The Dollar Spot Index, which measures the currency against a basket of developed-market peers, added 0.2% to 97.5220 as U.S. core inflation came in at 2.3% year over year in December 2019, unchanged from November 2019 and in line with the consensus estimate of economists polled by Econoday.
Among other currencies, the onshore Chinese yuan gained 0.1% while the offshore yuan was little changed. The pound was flat at $1.2992, and the Japanese yen slipped 0.1%. The euro declined 0.2%.
In the debt market, 10-year Treasurys and German Bunds rose, with their yields falling 2 basis points each to 1.832% and negative 0.17%, respectively.
Among commodities, Brent crude oil jumped 0.9% to $64.80 per barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange. Gold declined 0.4%.
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The day ahead:
1 p.m. ET — U.S. Fed's Esther George speaks