Stocks traded higher on Election Day as the Dow gained 65 points to 18,320 on higher volume. Trading volume on the NASDAQ however continued to falter. The mixed but light volume trend signals that conviction is low. Utilities led all other sectors.
The US Commerce Department has formally opened a China steel tariff-dodging probe after several steel companies alleged that China is shipping metal to Vietnam, then making changes to it and reclassifying it as Vietnamese where it is subject to much lower tariffs. Earlier this year the US slapped tariffs on Chinese steel makers upwards of 200 plus percent.
Meanwhile Chinese trade data came in below expectations as exports contracted by 7.3% and imports fell 1.4%. China continues to peg GDP growth at 6.7% and internal data points show that rail freight volumes are rising again. The bottom line is that the data is mixed and fears of a faltering growth rate in China persist.