Stocks slip on Wall Street over new trade war concerns

November 20, 2019 - 10:29 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell in early trading on Wall Street Wednesday after a resolution by the Senate added a potential new hurdle to the latest push for a trade deal with China.

The Senate approved a measure to support human rights in Hong Kong following months of anti-government protests. China condemned the move and threatened “strong countermeasures.”

Negotiations between the U.S. and China are already on seemingly shaky ground. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump said he was prepared to raise tariffs on Chinese exports if the nations can’t reach an agreement on trade. Investors are hoping the nations can reach a deal before new tariffs become effective in December and further threaten economic growth.

Communications and technology companies were among the biggest losers. AT&T fell 1.2% and HP fell 1.7%.

Banks also slipped as bond yields fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury slid to 1.74% from 1.78% late Tuesday.

Target and Lowe’s both made sharp gains after reporting encouraging earnings and forecasts. Elsewhere, investors shifted money into less risky holdings.

Consumer product giants, including Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble, made gains. Utilities and real estate companies also held up better than the rest of the market.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 0.2% as of 10:20 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 97 points, or 0.3%, to 27,838. The Nasdaq fell 0.1%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks was little changed.

CRACK SHOT: Target surged 13% after handily beating Wall Street’s third-quarter earnings estimates. The retailer also raised its profit forecast for the year.

PROFIT REPAIR: Lowe’s rose 5.2% after raising its profit forecast for the year following a solid third quarter. The home improvement retailer has been working to improve profit and sales in an effort to better compete with rival Home Depot.

Home Depot, which cut its profit forecast after reporting disappointing earnings on Tuesday, fell 1%.

OVERSEAS: European and Asian markets moved lower. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.6% after customs data showed the country’s exports fell 9.2% in October from a year earlier, with sharp declines in shipments to China, South Korea and the U.S.

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