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Trade data will be in vogue as Trump-Xi meeting approaches

As the backend-loaded week kicks off, Wall Street will turn its eyes to U.S. trade data ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"Traders are going to be parsing through that data for hints on what it means for trade partnerships with China and other countries," said Adam Sarhan, CEO of 50 Park Investments. "It will be similar to the way they go through data looking for clues about the Federal Reserve's next move."

The U.S. trade deficit data are scheduled for release Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists expect it to have narrowed in February to $44.8 billion from a five-year high of $48.5 billion.

"It's not typically a market mover, but since it's pretty quiet at the start of the week, the report will get more attention than usual," said Lindsey Bell, investment strategist at CFRA. Other data reports due later this week include the March jobs report and minutes from the Federal Reserve's previous meeting. Several Fed officials are also scheduled to speak throughout the week.

Xi and Trump will meet Thursday and Friday at Mar-a-Lago. Last week, Trump said via Twitter the meeting would not be easy because "we can't have massive trade deficits … and job losses."

"If it's an adversarial meeting — which I don't expect it to be — the market could sell off hard," said 50 Park's Sarhan. "That said, if it goes very well, the market could rally."

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Trade — specifically fair U.S. trade — was one of the Trump's campaign pillars, as he promised the U.S. would renegotiate trade deals he considered to be unfair. The administration has already moved forward to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada.

Equities fell Monday, but closed well off their lows, as investors parsed through mixed manufacturing data and weaker-than-expected auto sales numbers.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 13.01 points to close at 20,650.21, while the S&P 500 dropped 0.16 percent to end at 2,358. The Nasdaq composite managed to hit an all-time intraday high of 5,928.63, but closed 0.29 percent lower at 5,894.68.

"Investors are starting the second quarter with a bit of trepidation," said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth. "Some of the weakness you're seeing has to do with what's going on with yields, as they continue to go in the opposite direction of the reflation trade."

Treasury yields fell Monday, with the benchmark 10-year note yield falling to 2.33 percent and the two-year note yield slipping to 1.23 percent.

Watch: Trade & N. Korea on Trump-Xi agenda

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