Wall St hit by trade uncertainty; Uber makes tepid debut
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(Reuters) – U.S. stocks were off session lows on Friday, but the benchmark S&P 500 remained on track for its worst weekly loss since December, as investors fretted over a potential long-drawn U.S.-China trade war.
FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 9, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called the two-day talks that ended in Washington “constructive”, lifting sentiment that was earlier weighed down by President Donald Trump saying he was in “no hurry” to sign a deal as higher tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods became effective.
“There is a lot of apprehension and uncertainty around U.S-China trade talks,” said Jonathan Corpina, senior managing partner for Meridian Equity Partners in New York.
“Markets are happy to hear that there was progress made, but they want to hear the details, and we don’t have that information coming out of either party.”
Boeing Co, the single largest U.S. exporter to China, and Caterpillar Inc fell more than 1%.
The rising tensions between the world’s two largest economies have renewed fears of a global economic slowdown and forced investors to seek low-risk assets such as government bonds that has pushed longer-dated yields lower. [US/]
If the trade war drags on and consumers spend less due to higher prices, the Federal Reserve might have to cut interest rates, Atlanta Fed chief Raphael Bostic said.
The interest-rate sensitive banking sector fell 0.37%.
Uber Technologies Inc shares were down 1.3%, after opening 6.7% below their initial public offering price in their long-awaited market debut.
At 12:50 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 142.74 points, or 0.55%, at 25,685.62. The S&P 500 was down 17.55 points, or 0.61%, at 2,853.17 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 73.52 points, or 0.93%, at 7,837.07.
Technology stocks fell 0.96%, and weighed the most on the S&P, dragged down by shares of iPhone maker and a plunge in Symantec Corp.
The antivirus software maker tumbled 13.8% after issuing a profit warning and unexpectedly announcing that its chief executive officer would step down.
Chipmakers, which get a huge chunk of their revenue from China also fell, with the Philadelphia chip index trading down 1%, taking the week’s declines to 7% and on pace for its worst weekly loss since January 2016.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.39-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.84-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded eight new 52-week highs and 12 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 31 new highs and 90 new lows.
Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila