Lingering Trade Concerns May Lead To Pullback On Wall Street

The major U.S. index futures are currently pointing to a lower opening on Friday, with stocks likely to give back ground after moving significantly higher over the past few sessions.

Lingering concerns about the escalating trade dispute between the U.S. and China are likely to weigh on the markets early in the session.

President Donald Trump has sought to blame China for backing out of a nearly completed trade deal, although a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Commerce claims the U.S. is responsible for serious setbacks in the trade talks.

Commerce Ministry spokesperson Gao Feng accused the Trump administration of “bullying behavior” with a recent increase in tariffs, according to state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua.

“It is regrettable that the U.S. side unilaterally escalated trade disputes, which resulted in severe negotiating setbacks,” Gao said.

He added, “We urge the U.S. side to correct wrongdoings as soon as possible to avoid causing heavier damages to businesses and consumers in both countries and dragging down the global economy.”

Stocks moved mostly higher during the trading day on Thursday, extending the upward move seen over the course of the two previous sessions. With the continued advance, the major averages have largely offset the steep drop seen on Monday.

The major averages gave back some ground in afternoon trading but remained firmly positive. The Dow climbed 214.66 points or 0.8 percent to 25,862.68, the Nasdaq jumped 75.90 points or 1 percent to 7,898.05 and the S&P 500 advanced 25.36 points or 0.9 percent to 2,876.32.

The strength on Wall Street partly reflected a positive reaction to earnings news from Walmart (WMT), with the retail giant climbing by 1.4 percent.

The advance by Walmart comes after the company reported fiscal first quarter earnings that exceeded analyst estimates on better than expected comparable store sales growth.

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