US stocks struggle during early trade; Italy/trade worries remain in focus

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Major US equity indices witnessed a subdued opening on Tuesday and were being weighed down by concerns surrounding Italy's budget plans.

Italy's government proposed a budget deficit target of 2.4% of its GDP, above EU guidelines, which investors now see as putting Italy in conflict with the European Union's stringent fiscal rules. The worries pushed Italy's bond yields to multi-year highs, sparking a selloff in Italian banking stocks and denting investors’ appetite for riskier assets.

Meanwhile, the enthusiasm over a US-Canada trade deal turned out to be short-lived and rather seems to have reignited worries over a full-blown trade war between the world's two largest economies - US & China. The downside, so far, has been limited as investors preferred to rather take cues from incoming positive economic data and corporate earnings.

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