As in February, investors spent most of the first full trading week of March hoping for new details in U.S.-China trade negotiations. While they waited, stock benchmarks drifted downward. From Monday’s open to Friday’s close, the S&P 500 lost 2.55%, while the Dow Industrials took a 2.66% fall, and the Nasdaq Composite weakened 3.12%. The MSCI EAFE index tracking developed markets outside the U.S. and Canada fell 1.09%.1,2,3,4

Why did stocks lose momentum? In a hint that global economic growth might be slowing, the European Central Bank abruptly reduced its 2019 Gross Domestic Product forecast for the eurozone from 1.7% to 1.1%. A disappointing reading on U.S. hiring also raised questions.5

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1 – quotes.wsj.com/index/SPX [3/8/19]
2 – quotes.wsj.com/index/DJIA [3/8/19]
3 – quotes.wsj.com/index/NASDAQ [3/8/19]
4 – quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/990300/historical-prices [3/8/19]
5 – cnbc.com/2019/03/07/stock-market-us-china-trade-jobless-claims-in-focus.html [3/7/19]