Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished lower Wednesday following a report that completion of a "phase one" U.S.-China trade pact could be delayed until next year.
  • Target (TGT) - Get Report soared after the retail chain reported stronger-than expected third-quarter earnings and raised its full-year profit guidance. Target is Real Money's Stock of the Day.
  • Lowe's  (LOW) - Get Report climbed after the home-improvement retailer posted stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings and lifted its full-year profit guidance.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks finished lower Wednesday following a report that completion of a "phase one" U.S.-China trade pact could be delayed until next year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which had been down more than 200 points, finished down 113 points, or 0.4%, to 27,821.09. The S&P 500 slipped 0.38%. The Nasdaq, which finished at a record closing high Tuesday, dropped 0.51%.

Home Depot (HD) - Get Report , 3M (MMM) - Get Report and Apple (AAPL) - Get Report  lead the Dow's retreat.

"Despite recent modest profit-taking, stocks' resilience is impressive given the total lack of visibility on any real U.S.-China trade progress," said Alec Young, managing director of global markets research with FTSE Russell. "After all, stocks are still flirting with record highs despite weeks of seemingly endless contradictory headlines."

Reuters reported that completion of the first phase of a U.S.-China trade agreement could slide into 2020, as Beijing pushes for more extensive tariff rollbacks while the White House makes additional demands of its own. The report noted that some experts are still optimistic a deal might come together in the coming weeks. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday his team continues to talk with China.

Stocks had started Wednesday's session in the red after China condemned a U.S. Senate resolution supporting human rights in Hong Kong.

The Senate resolution, known as the "Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act," comes at a sensitive time in the trade negotiations following reports from China-backed media that Beijing won't accept an agreement that doesn't include the cancellation of tariffs from Washington.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the Senate move was designed to "bolster anti-China, extremist and violent radicals who attempt to disrupt Hong Kong," and cautioned that "all those attempts to interfere in or impede China's development will be in vain."

"China is going to have to make a deal that I like," Trump said on Tuesday at a cabinet meeting. "If we don't make a deal with China, I'll just raise the tariffs even higher."

Hu Xijin, editor of the Global Times, a state-controlled Chinese newspaper, said on Twitter that China is ready to dig in on the trade issue.

"Few Chinese believe that China and the US can reach a deal soon," he wrote. "Given current poor China policy of the US, people tend to believe the significance of a trade deal, if reached, will be limited. China wants a deal but is prepared for the worst-case scenario, a prolonged trade war."

However, Jim Cramer, the founder of TheStreet, complained on Twitter that the Chinese "steal, they cheat, they dump fentanyl and they act as if we are the bad guys? They keep their markets close, ours are open and the mainstream media and China are lauded..."

"What would China do without our market?" Cramer asked. "Give me a break."

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve released the minutes from its October policy meeting at which it lowered the federal funds rate by 25 basis points. The minutes indicated that Fed members saw little need to cut rates any further.

"This is further confirmation the Fed isn't making rate moves any time soon, barring a significant disruption in the economy's path," said Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E*Trade. "There isn't the slightest whimper of movement in rates in today's minutes. The Fed still believes the economy is strong, and more importantly the consumer is healthy."

However, he added, "they don't think we're made of Teflon. There is meaningful concern over how trade and geopolitical tensions will affect their two most precious measures of progress -- inflation and jobs."

Trump arrived in Austin, Texas Wednesday afternoon to meet with Apple (AAPL) - Get Report CEO Tim Cook for a tour of an Apple manufacturing plant , the same day that the tech giant announced it has begun construction on a new plant in the city. Apple finished down 1.2% to $263.19.

Target (TGT) - Get Report , the S&P 500's top gainer, traded at an all-time high of $127.20, before ending the day up $15.80, or 14.25%, at $126.65.  The retail chain reported better-than expected third-quarter earnings and raised its full-year profit guidance. Target is Real Money's Stock of the Day.

"Target has figured out how to manage the dot.com by actually making money using a brick and mortar warehouse with an arm of the operation that brings it to you," Cramer wrote on

Real Money

. "Meanwhile the inner city stores use Shipt for delivery. The continually strong dot com sales show the power of this joint buy online pick up or deliver strategy."

Lowe's  (LOW) - Get Report climbed 3.9% to $117.84 after the home improvement retailer posted stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings Wednesday, and lifted its full-year profit guidance.

Urban Outfitters

(URBN) - Get Report

tumbled 15.2% to $24.41 after

the clothing retailer

posted weaker-than-expected third-quarter earnings amid weakening sales for some of the nation's largest clothing-focused store chains. This dismal news 

follows similar weakness

from department store retailer Kohl's

(KSS) - Get Report

, which slashed its full-year profit guidance earlier this week after missing Wall Street forecasts for same-store sales and earnings growth.

Apple, Home Depot, and Kohl's are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells these stocks? Learn more now.