Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished lower Tuesday after President Donald Trump told reporters in London that a U.S.-China trade agreement may have to wait until after next year's presidential elections.
  • UnitedHealth Group (UNH) - Get Report was down after the managed-care giant issued a disappointing forecast for adjusted earnings in 2020 ahead of its investor day Tuesday. UnitedHealth is Real Money's Stock of the Day.
  • AK Steel (AKS) - Get Report finished higher after iron ore pellet producer Cleveland-Cliffs (CLF) - Get Report said it reached a deal the buy flat-rolled carbon, stainless steel and electrical products maker for $1.1 billion in stock.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks ended sharply down Tuesday after President Donald Trump told reporters in London that a U.S.-China trade agreement may have to wait until after next year's presidential elections.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which had dropped more than 450 points, or 1.6%, finished down 280 points, or 1.01%, to 27,503. The S&P 500 was off 0.66% and the Nasdaq slid 0.55%.

Intel (INTC) - Get Report , Goldman Sachs (GS) - Get Report  and Apple (AAPL) - Get Report were leading the Dow's retreat.

"With 2020 elections around the corner, we could start to see more stalemates in the Beltway," said Mike Loewengart, E-Trade's vice president of investment strategy.

"Let's keep in mind that 2019 has been a remarkable year in the markets, so regardless of trade tensions it's natural to see a bit of a dip after the huge gains we've seen this year. It can't always go in one direction."

Speaking to the media during a three-day visit to the British capital, Trump said he had no deadline in mind for a U.S.-China trade pact.

He said that it would "probably be better" to wait until the end of the 2020 elections to finalize an agreement and that any accord would be "dependent on whether I want it."

"In some ways I think it's better to wait until after the elections to deal with China, to tell you the truth," Trump said. "In some ways I think it would be better."

Trump's remarks left traders confused about the completion of the so-called phase one trade deal between the world's two biggest economies.

In addition, a new round of tariffs on Chinese-made products, such as smartphones and toys, is scheduled to go into effect on Dec. 15.  Fox News, citing anonymous sources, reported that the U.S. is still set to impose the tariffs.

China has demanded that the U.S. roll back tariffs as part of the agreement, but Trump has refused to take that step.

The comments followed the president's surprise move to impose fresh levies on steel and aluminum imports from Brazil and Argentina, which he accused of unfairly devaluing their currencies.

Meanwhile, sentiment was dented on the potential for further levies on European imports linked to a World Trade Organization ruling on aerospace subsidies.

The Geneva trade arbiter said Boeing (BA) - Get Report rival Airbus (EADSY) receives unfair support from the European Union, opening the door for the U.S. to apply tariffs on $7.5 billion of European-made goods imported into the U.S. as compensation.

Boeing was off nearly 1% to $352.24, while Airbus was down 3.9% to $34.66.

A separate U.S.-European tariff dispute also developed late Monday, when the U.S. Trade Representative said it would slap a punitive tariff of 100% on around $2.4 billion of French-made luxury goods, as well as wine and champagne.

The move was designed as retaliation for France's decision to apply a 3% digital tax on U.S. tech giants such as Apple, Facebook (FB) - Get Report and Alphabet's Google.  (GOOGL) - Get Report

"The narrative on trade has quickly been turned upside down as negative headlines on tariffs have ignited a risk-averse tone in the markets," said Charlie Ripley, senior investment strategist for Allianz Investment Management.

"Where it once looked like a trade agreement between the U.S. and China was progressing, investors are seeing a different picture portrayed today."

The recent escalation, Ripley added, "is particularly deflating for investors who watched equity investments reach new highs on the positive traction throughout November."

UnitedHealth Group (UNH) - Get Report was down about 1% to $276.90 after the New York managed-care giant issued a disappointing forecast for adjusted earnings in 2020 ahead of its investor day Tuesday. UnitedHealth is Real Money's Stock of the Day.

AK Steel (AKS) - Get Report was climbing 4.3% to $3.02 after  iron ore pellet producer Cleveland-Cliffs (CLF) - Get Report said it reached a deal to buy the flat-rolled carbon, stainless steel and electrical products maker for $1.1 billion in stock. Cleveland-Cliffs sank 10.7% to $7.51.

Cyber Monday sales came in at $9.4 billion, according to Adobe Analytics. Online sales via smartphones accounted for one-third of Cyber Monday sales at $3.1 billion, a 46% boost from last year. Buy online, pickup in-store/curbside sales grew by 41% year over year, according to Adobe.

The top-selling items on Cyber Monday, Adobe said, included "Frozen 2" toys, L.O.L. Surprise Dolls, Nerf products, Madden 20, Nintendo (NTDOY) Switch, Jedi Fallen Order, Samsung (SSNLF) TVs, Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report Fire TV, Apple (AAPL) - Get Report AirPods and air fryers.

Marvell Technology (MRVL) - Get Report and Salesforce.com (CRM) - Get Report are among the companies scheduled to report earnings after the bell.

Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, Salesforce.com, Marvell Technology and UnitedHealth Group are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells these stocks?