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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Bullish stock traders have taken just about every opportunity to buy U.S. equities after positive news about developments in the U.S.-China trade war this year, but both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq had their worst day in a month on Tuesday as obstacles to that deal mounted.

What's happening: Stocks reversed earlier gains after President Trump addressed the UN and accused China of failing to keep its promises and engaging in predatory practices that had cost millions of jobs in the U.S. and other countries.

  • "Trump's comments to the U.N. were very antagonistic toward China. In the last couple of weeks there's been optimism trade would go in a positive direction," Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at Independent Advisor Alliance, told Reuters.
  • "It was the tone and the fact he listed out in great detail all the gripes the U.S. has with China."
  • "All that trade optimism that's been building has been sucked out of the air and replaced with pessimism."

U.S. stocks fell further after Congressman John Lewis committed his support for impeachment proceedings based on reports Trump pressured Ukraine's president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son by withholding U.S. aid.

  • “This is going to be news that spills out over time, but I can’t imagine the start of this process improves the tone of the U.S.-China trade talks … if I’m China I feel empowered," Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities, told CNBC.
  • "This is a market that’s been hanging on that tone getting better and I think it just got worse on the president’s hawkish tone at the UN and this process."

Where it stands: The impeachment inquiry House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday doesn't realistically portend a Trump exit from the White House, but it does further cloud what the market can expect from government policy, said Marc Chandler, global market strategist at Bannockburn Global Forex.

  • “My sense is the impeachment is well ahead of the country. I don’t think it’s going to be successful, and ... I don’t think the country is behind it. It just adds to uncertainty,” Chandler wrote in a note.

Go deeper: China cancels U.S. farm visits while Trump holds out for a "big deal"

Go deeper

Beijing Olympics: These countries have announced diplomatic boycotts

Photo: Zhang Qiang/VCG via Getty Images

Several countries, including Canada and Australia, have announced they will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest human rights abuses committed by China's government.

Driving the news: Leaders have faced pressure from human rights groups and others to boycott the Games, pointing to the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang region and other abuses.

Biden directs federal government to become carbon neutral by 2050

President Biden speaking to reporters outside of the White House on Dec. 8.

President Biden signed an executive order Wednesday that requires the federal government achieve multiple goals related to reducing its carbon emissions, including achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Why it matters: Meeting the objectives of the order would require a massive investment by the federal government to buy electric vehicles, upgrade buildings and change how it procures electricity.

Updated 2 hours ago - Technology

Instagram's boss faces Congress' questions on harm to teens

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for WIRED

The head of Instagram will find himself in Congress' crosshairs for the first time Wednesday in the one area lawmakers have shown they are willing to pass tech regulations — protecting youngsters online.

Why it matters: Republicans and Democrats have found common ground in grilling tech companies on how their products harm children, especially after revelations in The Wall Street Journal about Instagram's potential harm to the mental health of teen girls.

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