Wall Street capped a choppy week with a second straight weekly loss for the S&P 500 Friday as worries about a potential escalation in the trade war between the U.S. and China erased early gains.
Technology companies led the broad slide as investors weighed a report saying the Trump administration is considering ways to limit U.S. investments in China. Bloomberg cited unnamed people familiar with the administration’s internal discussions.
Uncertainty over the long-running trade war has fueled volatility in the market and stoked worries that the impact of tariffs and other tactics employed by the countries against each other is hampering U.S. economic and corporate profit growth.
The possibility that the U.S. is weighing another way of applying pressure on China dampened investors’ already cautious optimism that the world’s two biggest economies might make progress as their representatives resume negotiations next month.
“Here we are, just two weeks out, and now we’re doing things to sort of ruffle feathers again,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading & derivatives at Charles Schwab. “That kind of spooked the market.”
The S&P 500 index fell 15.83 points, or 0.5%, to 2,961.79. The benchmark index finished the week with a 1% loss. Even so, it remains 2.1% below its all-time high set in July.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 70.87 points, or 0.3%, to 26,820.25. The Nasdaq, which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, lost 91.03 points, or 1.1%, to 7,939.63.
Investors also shifted money out of smaller company stocks, which pulled the Russell 2000 index down 12.85 points, or 0.8%, to 1,520.48.
Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held at 1.68%.
The major U.S. stock indexes were holding on to modest gains early Friday even after investors sized up mixed economic data on consumer spending and durable goods orders.