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US markets end mostly lower on Tuesday

The US markets ended mostly lower on Tuesday after a contentious fight between President Donald Trump and Democratic leadership over border security. Trump threatened to shut down the government if more money was not allocated towards building a wall along the US-Mexico border. Further, cautiousness too prevailed in the markets on report that the US will condemn China over hacking and economic espionage, potentially ratcheting up tension between the two countries once again. However, down-move remain capped on report that the US and China launched formal trade talks with a phone call. The initial conversation included Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, where they discussed changes to fundamental Chinese economic policies. In the call, China informed US officials that it agreed to reduce tariffs on US autos to 15%, down from 40%.

On the economic front, producer prices in the US unexpectedly showed a modest uptick in the month of November, according to a report released by the Labor Department. The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand inched up by 0.1% in November after climbing by 0.6% in October. Street had expected prices to be unchanged. Prices for food showed another significant increase, surging up by 1.3% in November after jumping by 1.0% in October. On the other hand, the report said energy prices plunged by 5.0% in November following a 2.7% spike in the previous month. Gasoline prices plummeted by 14.0%. Excluding food and energy prices, core producer prices rose by 0.3% in November after rising by 0.5% in October. Core prices had been expected to edge up by 0.1%.

Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 53.02 points or 0.22 percent to 24370.24 and S&P 500 lost 0.94 points or 0.04 percent to 2636.78, while Nasdaq was up by 11.31 points or 0.16 percent to 7031.83.

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