Oil falls after Trump downplays optimistic China trade reports

Trump says China supply chain 'broken like an egg' but trade talks going well

-China trade talks, or at least over investors' perception of them.

Investors are on the lookout for any headlines that could point to a first-phase trade deal between the USA and China after mixed messages from the White House and delayed meetings have heightened concerns that negotiations are stumbling. On Thursday, trade optimism rose after China's Commerce Ministry said that Beijing had agreed with Washington to lift existing trade tariffs between the two countries in phases. But indexes pared their losses as the day progressed, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average turned positive in the afternoon.

The third-quarter earnings season is drawing to a close on a positive note, with almost three-quarters of the 446 S&P 500 companies that have reported results so far topping profit estimates, according to Refinitiv data.

Money managers boosted their net long U.S. crude futures and options positions in the week to November 5 by 22,512 contracts to 138,389, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said.

Most developing world currencies lost ground against the USA dollar, which held steady near one-month highs.

"You had negative headlines that were a reason for consolidation after five weeks in a row where stocks moved higher", said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird in Milwaukee. "China would like to get somewhat of a rollback, not a complete rollback because I know I won't do it".

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 was down 0.2%, as of 2:45 p.m. Treasuries were closed for the Veterans' Day holiday.

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The Dow rose 10.25 points or 0.04% to 27691.49.

Oil futures often trade in tandem with shares. "And so if we can have a few days of consolidation where it eases some of that, then that's a healthy development for the market overall".

Underlining the impact of the trade war, data over the weekend showed that China's producer prices fell the most in more than three years in October. Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari speaks in La Crosse, Wisconsin.Thursday brings China retail sales and industrial production data.USA retail sales on Friday are forecast to rebound in October after unexpectedly falling the prior month.

Walt Disney jumped 3.8% for one of the biggest gains in the S&P 500 after it reported stronger profit for the latest quarter than expected, thanks in part to its "Toy Story 4 " and "The Lion King" movies.

OVERSEAS: Asian markets fell. The Cling Seng index fell two.6% following a police officer shot and wounded a protester.

China's Shanghai Index settled at 2909.97, down 54.21 or -1.83% and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index closed at 6772.50, up 48.40 or +0.72%.

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