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David Becker

US stocks moved slightly lower, but sectors were mixed, led down by Real estate while energy bucked the trend. Stocks were under pressure as trade negotiations continued to be the focus for market participants. In addition to dealing with the Chinese, the White House continued to negotiate with House Democrats to come to a deal on the USMCA, President Trump’s replacement for NAFTA.  US jobless claims were unchanged week over week, remaining near a 5-month high.

Schwab is Looking to Buy TD Ameritrade

Charles Schwab announced on Thursday that it is having a discussion with rival discount broker to purchase TD Ameritrade. The news was reported on CNBC. A deal could be announced as early as Thursday, which buoyed shares of TD Ameritrade soared as much as 25% on Thursday, on pace for its best day since September 2008. Schwab’s shares surged 10%, on pace for its best day since September 2015.

The goal of the deal is to create a $5 trillion dollar asset management company with nearly 75% of the asset coming from Schwab. Both firms have cut commissions to zero recently and the focus for both firms is fees from asset management.


Negotiations between the US and China Continue

Chinese trade negotiators have invited his American counterparts for a new round of talks, as both sides are struggling to strike a limited deal. Liu He, President Xi Jinping’s key trade negotiator has extended the invitation to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to hold the meeting in Beijing. Chinese officials hope the in-person negotiations can take place before next Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday.

USMCA on Hold

House Democrats and the Trump administration did not come to an agreement on moving forward with President Donald Trump’s new North American trade deal. Despite the lack of progress, the House could vote on USMCA, Trump’s replacement for NAFTA, by the end of the year.

Jobless Claims Remain at 5-month Highs

Initial claims were flat at 227,000 for the week ended November 16, the highest level since June 22, according to the Labor Department. Expectations had been for claims to decline to 219,000 in the latest week. The four-week moving average of initial claims, rose 3,500 to 221,000 last week.

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