Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average I:DJI  and S&P 500 I:GSPC   closed lower Thursday for the fourth time in five trading sessions.
  • The White House imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union.
  • Shares of General Motors Co. (GM) - Get Report jumped 12.8% after the carmaker's self-driving unit received a $2.25 billion investment from SoftBank Vision Fund.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks finished lower on Thursday, May 31, after the Trump administration said it would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

Starting Friday, June 1, the U.S. will impose tariffs of 25% on imported steel and tariffs of 10% on aluminum products, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told reporters.

"I think that this is a signal that things will get more and more complicated," said Hugo Perezcano, deputy director of economic law at Centre for International Governance Innovation.

The European Union said Thursday it would impose duties "on a number of imports from the United States," and said it would bring its case against new U.S. tariffs to the World Trade Organization on Friday. Mexico said it would hit U.S. exports of pork bellies, blueberries, apples, grapes, certain cheeses, and various types of steel with import taxes.

"This is protectionism, pure and simple," said Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission.

Steel stocks such as Action Alerts PLUS holding Nucor Corp. (NUE) - Get Reporttraded higher on the tariff news.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average I:DJI   closed down 251 points, or 1.02%, to 24,416. The S&P 500 I:GSPC  fell 0.69% and the Nasdaq I:IXIC  was down 0.27%. Leading the Dow lower were Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) - Get Report and Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) - Get Report .

Shares of General Motors Co. (GM) - Get Report  rose 12.8% after the carmaker said SoftBank Vision Fund would invest $2.25 billion in GM Cruise Holdings, GM's self-driving unit, and GM would invest an additional $1.1 billion once the deal closes at the end of June.

Meanwhile, Uber Technologies Inc. has held talks with Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL) - Get Report autonomous driving unit Waymo about using its technology on Uber's ride-hailing app, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said.

"[The relationship is] getting better," Khosrowshahi said at the Code Conference at Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. "You build relationships slowly but surely. I have a long relationship with Google and we have a trust level. We're having discussions with Waymo. If something happens, great."

Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) said Thursday it would close 72 more stores "in the near future" following a first quarter that saw it lose $3.93 a share. The stock tumbled 12.4%.

Revenue dropped more than 30% to $2.9 billion from $4.2 billion a year earlier. Same-store sales declined 11.9%.

The retailer ended the first quarter with 894 combined Sears and Kmart stores, down from 1,275 a year earlier.

Dollar General Corp. (DG) - Get Report reported first-quarter earnings of $1.36 a share vs. analysts' expectations of $1.40. Revenue rose 9% to $6.11 billion but came in below forecasts of $6.18 billion. Shares fell 9.3%.

Fellow discount retailer Dollar Tree Inc. (DLTR) - Get Report posted fiscal first-quarter profit and sales that came in below expectations and the company reduced its earnings outlook for 2018. The stock slid 14%.

Ciena Corp. (CIEN) - Get Report  fell 4.2% after fiscal second-quarter profit came in below forecasts but the company's chief financial officer said on a conference call that revenue growth in fiscal 2018 was expected to rise 7% to 9% from a year earlier.

In U.S. economic data, consumer spending in April rose 0.6%, while personal incomes rose 0.3%.

Weekly jobless claims fell 13,000 to 221,000, slightly below forecasts. 

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