Wall Street slips as US-China tensions weigh, investors watch retail

Specialist trader Mario Picone works with his daughter during a traditional bring-your-kids-to-work day on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange November 29, 2019. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, Nov 30 — Wall Street’s major indexes ended yesterday’s shorter session lower as US-China discord over Hong Kong fuelled investor anxiety about trade talks and retail stocks dipped as in-store Black Friday sales appeared to draw smaller crowds.

China on Thursday threatened to retaliate against a US law backing pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong with potential measures including barring drafters of the legislation from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, the editor of China’s state-backed Global Times tabloid said in a tweet.

And yesterday a Reuters report cited two sources saying the US government may expand its power to stop more foreign shipments of products with US technology to China’s Huawei, due to frustration that a blacklisting failed to end supplies to the world’s largest telecoms equipment maker.

While the S&P closed above its session low, selling intensified in the last hour of trading after the report on Huawei.

All three of Wall Street’s major indexes had registered record highs earlier in the week when hopes were higher for an imminent “phase one” US-China trade deal. The trade-sensitive Philadelphia Semiconductor index fell 1.1 per cent.

For the month preliminary Refinitiv data showed that the S&P rose 3.4 per cent while the Dow gained 3.7 per cent and Nasdaq climbed 4.5 per cent. It was the the biggest monthly gain for all three major indexes since June.

The US-China news gave “a little bit of a weaker tone” to yesterday’s market, Jack Janasiewicz, a portfolio manager and strategist at Natixis Investment Managers Solutions in Boston.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 112.59 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 28,051.41, the S&P

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