Stocks Opened Slightly Lower ahead U.S.-EU Trade Meeting

U.S. stocks opened slightly lower on Wednesday as investors waited for a key trade-related meeting between President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 53.78 points, or 0.21%, to 25,188.16. The S&P 500 was up 3.39 point, or 0.12%, to 2,823.79. The Nasdaq Composite gained 26.44 points, or 0.34%, to 7,867.21.

The U.S. oil benchmark lost some ground Wednesday as traders awaited official data on domestic inventories, while Brent crude, the global benchmark, edged higher. West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery was off 12 cents, or 0.2%, at $68.40 a barrel. September Brent crude was up 43 cents, or 0.6%, to $73.87 a barrel.

General Motors Co (GM.N) on Wednesday lowered its full-year 2018 earnings forecast, citing higher steel and aluminum costs as a result of tariffs imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, sending its shares down more than 5 percent in pre-market trading.

General Dynamics topped Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit on Wednesday. General Dynamics’ net earnings climbed to $786 million, or $2.62 per share, in the second quarter ended July 1, from $749 million, or $2.45 per share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, General Dynamics earned $2.82 per share.

Anthem Inc (ANTM) raised its full-year adjusted earnings forecast, as the health insurer reported better-than-expected profit on Wednesday, driven by higher premiums and lower patient medical costs. Anthem said net income rose 23 percent to $1.05 billion, or $3.98 per share, in the second quarter ended June 30. Excluding items, the company earned $4.25 per share.

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