NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wall Street ended lower on Friday as continuing trade tensions pulled industrial and tech shares down, and the Dow capped a fourth straight week of losses in its longest weekly losing streak in three years.
While all three major U.S. indexes struggled for direction for much of the session, they turned decisively negative following a report from CNBC that U.S.-China trade negotiations have stalled.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq suffered their second successive weekly declines after U.S. stocks failed to fully recover from Monday’s steep sell-off.
“It is not unusual for stocks to weaken at the end of a week,” said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia. “The possibility of something weird happening over the weekend leads people to take money off the table as the week comes to a close.”
China added fuel to the fire of the increasingly rancorous trade war with the United States, striking a more aggressive tone and suggesting further talks could be fruitless unless Washington changes course.
Elsewhere in the multi-front U.S. tariff war, President Donald Trump confirmed he would delay imposing imported auto tariffs by as much as six months, and agreed to lift metal tariffs on Canada and Mexico.
Trade headlines overshadowed upbeat economic data. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index jumped 5.3% in May to its highest reading in 15 years.
“After earnings season the market seems to shift to these macro factors that are difficult to predict and difficult to trade on,” Tuz added. “You see more whipsawing in the markets in this kind of environment.”
Tariff jitters also dragged on key industrial shares.
Farm equipment maker Deere & Co was the biggest percentage loser on the S&P 500, dipping 7.7% after cutting its full-year forecast.
Caterpillar Inc, 3M Co,