S&P, Nasdaq fall as White House weighs delisting Chinese companies

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By Ambar Warrick and Medha Singh

(Reuters) – The S&P and the Nasdaq fell on Friday after news that the Trump administration was considering delisting Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges and limit U.S. investments into China.

U.S.-listed shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (N:), Baidu Inc (O:) and JD.com Inc (O:) slipped between 1.2% and 3.6% on the news.

Micron Technology Inc (O:) tumbled 9.2% and pulled the Philadelphia semiconductor index () down 0.9%.

The three main indexes are set to end a volatile week slightly lower after conflicting headlines about U.S.-China trade and as U.S. Democrats launched an impeachment investigation on President Donald Trump.

Shares of Wells Fargo & Co (N:) rose 4.4% and were among the top gainers on the S&P 500 () after the lender named banking veteran Charles Scharf as chief executive officer.

The banking sub-sector rose 1.2%, while the broader financial sector () was up 0.3%.

“This is the end of the quarter, we’re in a little bit of a holding pattern, getting ready for some big news coming out in the next three weeks that’ll give us more clarity and direction in the market,” said Larry Adam, chief investment officer at Raymond James in Baltimore, Maryland.

Next week, the focus will be on ISM’s purchasing managers index (PMI) data for September, especially after the August report showed contraction in the manufacturing sector, as well as the pivotal jobs report.

High-level trade talks between Washington and Beijing are scheduled for next month before the start of the third-quarter earnings season.

At 12:14 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average () was up 18.44 points, or 0.07%, at 26,909.56, the S&P 500 () was down 4.03 points, or 0.14%, at 2,973.59. The Nasdaq Composite () was down 29.09 points, or 0.36%, at 8,001.57.

Data showed U.S. consumer spending barely rose in August, suggesting that the economy’s main growth engine was slowing after accelerating sharply in the second quarter.

New orders for key U.S.-made capital goods also unexpectedly fell in August, but the so-called core PCE price index, the Fed’s preferred inflation measure, rose to 1.8% in August, the biggest rise in prices since January.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.01-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.04-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 11 new 52-week highs and four new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 24 new highs and 71 new lows.

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