Dow climbs, Weed Stocks go Haywire

US markets were mixed at the close Wednesday in the wake of trade uncertainty between the U.S. and some of its major foreign counterparts. Meanwhile, cannabis stocks ballooned, posting gains at rates echoing the cryptocurrencies craze of last year. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) closed up 0.6%, to 26,405.76, lifted largely by bank shares. The S&P 500 (^GSPC) was up 0.1%, while the NASDAQ Composite (^IXIC) closed down 0.1% to 7,950.

Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland spoke Wednesday in Washington with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in talks to try and reach a U.S.-Canada deal for the North American Free Trade Agreement. Canada’s dairy industry has been at the center of the debate, with the Trump administration signaling a refusal to reach an agreement unless the country eases up on its high dairy tariffs.

A preliminary deal between the U.S. and Mexico last month left Canada out of the bloc, and Steve Scalise, a key House Republican lawmaker, indicated Tuesday he would be willing to move ahead on a vote without waiting for a U.S.-Canada agreement.

Investors are continuing to digest the Trump administration’s announcement that it will impose a 10% tariff on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports starting Sept. 24, a rate that could rise to 25% in January. This follows tariffs of 25% on $50 billion of Chinese imports already imposed earlier this year.

Even with the latest round of tariffs, some analysts think the trade war – which has seen tariff upticks since the summer – has already made its mark on the global financial markets.

“Global equity market performance this year shows significant trade war impact already,” Citi analysts wrote in a note Wednesday. “By one measure, non-U.S. shares, particularly emerging markets, have diverged from fundamentals by the most since 1994. Such periods are typically followed by recovery.”

The tactics may be a U.S. “pressure campaign” to strike a deal with Beijing rather than maintain the heightened tariffs and reduced economic ties, the analysts wrote in the note.

STOCKS: Weed stocks surge

Medical cannabis company Tilray (TLRY) reached an all-time high during intraday trading Wednesday, with prices briefly touching $300 per share before trading was halted several times due to volatility. Tilray was up 38% at $214.06 per share at market close. The company was priced at $17 per share during its July IPO.

Shares of Tilray, now the most valuable pot company, surged earlier in the week following comments of growth prospects from CEO Brendan Kennedy in an interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer Tuesday. Tilray also gained Tuesday after the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration approved medical cannabis imports for use in medical testing.

The company leads a slew of gains from cannabis-related stocks: New Age Beverages (NBEV), which plans to debut CBD-infused drinks, closed up 55% at $4.4, while Cronos Group (CRON) was up 9.8% to $12.7 per share.


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