Stocks fall as China casts doubt on further trade talks

U.S. stocks fell Friday morning, though off session lows, after Chinese state media indicated little appetite by Beijing to resume trade talks following Trump administration’s move to raise tariffs on Chinese imports and to target tech giant Huawei.

Meanwhile, surprisingly strong data on consumer sentiment and a bullish reading of leading economic indicator helped stocks claw back some of their early-morning losses.

How are the major benchmarks performing?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.11% fell 24 points, or 0.1% to 25,838, while the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.05% lost 5 points, or 0.2%, to 2,871. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.32% declined 24 points, or 0.3% to 7,875.

At session lows, the Dow fell 204.90 points, or 0.8%, to 25,657.78, while the S&P 500 fell as many as 22.09 points, also 0.8%, to 2,854.23. The Nasdaq fell 72.37 points, or 0.9%, to 7,826.38, at its nadir.

What’s driving the market?

A spokesman for China’s Ministry of Commerce called the Trump administration’s moves to raise tariffs last week, and the threat of additional tariffs on the roughly $300 billion in annually imported Chinese so far untouched by new duties, “bullying behavior,” that has resulted in “severe negotiating setbacks.”

Chinese state media also took aim at the Trump administration’s decision to put Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co. on a list of entities that are working contrary to U.S. interests, which could result in U.S. companies needed to secure special permits to sell the company chips it relies on for end products.

See: Trump’s Huawei ban rattles shares of chip suppliers

State-run media, including the Communist Party’s People’s Daily and Xinhua News Agency, published scathing attacks on U.S. actions in recent days. “The U.S. has made an irrational act in trying to blackmail China with tariff hikes, which will be proven

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