Dec. 3 (UPI) — Stocks fell for the third consecutive day Tuesday as President Donald Trump suggested the United States and China may not reach a trade deal until after the 2020 presidential election.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 280.24 points or 1.01 percent at the end of trading Tuesday while the S&P 500 slipped 0.66 percent and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0. 55 percent.
Stocks related to the Chinese trade war were affected by Trump’s comments as Caterpillar fell 0.01 percent and the PHLX semiconductor index, which tracks the performance of American computer chip makers, fell 1.54 percent.
Trump said he had no deadline for a deal with China and said such a deal may not come before the 2020 presidential election.
“In some ways, I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal, but they want to make a deal now and we will see whether or not the deal is going to be right,” Trump told reporters while attending the NATO summit in London.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross reinforced Trump’s comments in an interview with CNBC, saying delaying a trade deal could help the United States in its negotiations.
“That takes off the table something that they may think gives them some leverage. Because once the election occurs — and the president seems to be in a very good shape for the election — once it occurs and he’s back in, now that’s no longer a distraction that can detract from our negotiating position,” Ross said.