Stocks fall in choppy session, despite trade progress

U.S. stocks closed lower Friday after a choppy day of trading, as Wall Street investors digested progress on trade deals with Canada and Mexico, while also continuing to worry about possible consequences of President Trump’s executive order aimed at banning Huawei equipment from U.S. networks.

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All three of the major U.S. averages fell, with the Nasdaq Composite registering the biggest drop of 1 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, meanwhile, capped its fourth consecutive down week, the worst performance in three years.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES26827.64+57.44+0.21%
SP500S&P 5003006.72+20.52+0.69%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX8162.987048+73.44+0.91%

The declines came despite the U.S. clearing up two major trade disputes with Mexico and Canada. The three countries agreed to jointly lift tariffs on steel and aluminum earlier in the day.

China has threatened to retaliate against the U.S. for Trump's executive order, which took effect Thursday. It also subjects the Chinese telecommunications giant to strict export controls.

The trade conflict's intensifying brinkmanship depressed investor sentiment.

Shane Oliver of AMP Capital said in a commentary that the trade issue "could still get worse before it gets better, but our view remains that a deal will ultimately be reached to resolve the issue given the economic (and in Trump's case political) damage that would be caused if a deal is not reached," according to The Associated Press.

The Bank of America analysts said Friday the trade war standoff is not just weighing on investor sentiment; it is hurting the U.S. economy.

"We think the latest brinkmanship around trade will slice 0.1pp from GDP growth this year, prompting us to lower our forecast to 2.5%. It will slightly boost core goods inflation, albeit on the margin," the bank's analysts said.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
DEDEERE & COMPANY174.03+0.11+0.06%
PSXPHILLIPS 66108.20+1.00+0.93%
CVSCVS HEALTH CORPORATION65.70-0.46-0.70%
AEPAMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY INC.94.48+0.34+0.36%

The yield on the 10-year Treasury was 2.37 percent.

Crude oil prices rose more than 1 percent to $63.53 per barrel.

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