US stock indexes fell Friday as China-US tensions mounted on markets struggling to predict the pace of economic recovery from the coronavirus.
President Donald Trump’s announcement Thursday on China’s plan for a national security law in Hong Kong has raised concerns that Washington and Beijing cancel their Phase-1 trade deal.
Fears of a renewed trade war have eased Wall Street’s April rally, which has gradually emerged from optimism over the potential COVID-19 vaccine and the US economy lockdown.
All three major US stock indexes were in the tight range for May, but are still going for weekly gains of between 2.5 percent and 2.8 percent.
Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago, said, “It’s a little push-pull, at least from some health care perspective.
“Investors may be a little apprehensive, pulling their horns before the three-day weekend.”
At 11:23 am ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 137.22 points, or 0.6 percent, at 24,336.90, the S&P 500 fell 9.8 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,938.76, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 18.07 points, or 0.2 percent. , At 9,266.81.
Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sub-indexes were trading lower, with oil prices falling by 5 percent, leading to power.
Real estate stocks are on some defensive play, but losses in the consumer staples sector are limited.
Mixed retail revenues from Walmart, Best Buy and Home Depot earlier in the week showed that online shopping is gaining traction due to online stay-at-home orders, a trend that continues to hurt brick-and-mortar players.
On Friday, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba reported better-than-expected quarterly profits, but its shares fell 4.4 percent. US-listed shares of smaller rival Pinduduo gained 9.6 percent after posting a lively earnings report.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise fell 11.5 percent after losing second-quarter earnings and profit expectations, with global lockdowns hit since February.
Data analytics software maker Splunk said it expects a high demand for its cloud services as it takes people from all over the world to work from home.