Stocks – S&P 500 Ends Lower as White House China Plan Spooks Market

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© Reuters. © Reuters. – Stocks finished down Friday — but well off their lows — after a Bloomberg News report said the Trump Administration was considering ways to limit Chinese access to U.S. capital markets.

The ended off 0.53%. The finished down 0.26%, and the ended down 1.13%. The index dropped 1.16%.

Among ideas being discussed, according to Bloomberg, were delisting Chinese companies from U.S. exchanges and limiting investments by, say, pension funds into Chinese companies.

The report gutted a rally at the open that saw the Dow industrials up as many as 122 points early in the session. At their low, the blue chips were off as many as 175 points before late buying kicked in.

The losses ensured stocks ended lower for a second-straight week with just one trading day left in September.

The S&P 500 was off 1% on the week, with the Dow down 0.4% and the Nasdaq off 2.2%.

As of Friday, the S&P 500 was up 1.2% for the month, with the Dow up 1.58%. The Nasdaq is down 0.3%.

The year is still quite strong with the S&P still up 18.2%, the Dow up almost 15% and the Nasdaq up 19.7%.

The selling hit tech stocks like Microsoft (NASDAQ:), Apple (NASDAQ:), Nvidia (NASDAQ:) and Micron Technology (NASDAQ:), down on gross margin guidance, as well as communications services stocks like Google parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:) and Facebook (NASDAQ:).

That said, the stall that’s taken over the stock market is still in place. The S&P’s close of 2,962 was its sixth-straight below 3,000. The Nasdaq finished under 8,000 for the second time in four sessions. The S&P 500 is now 2.19% below its July all-time high. The Dow is off 2.1% below its peak, with the Nasdaq now 4.8% down.

The stall is primarily due to the ongoing U.S.-China trade battle, even as negotiators are supposed to meet starting Oct. 10. The Trump impeachment inquiry, begun this week, is adding to the malaise. In addition, consumer spending slowed more than expected in August, suggesting the global economic slowdown is hitting the United States.

Health care stocks seemed to hold their own Friday. But the week was rocky in part because of Wall Street fears that Sen. Elizabeth Warren could be the Democratic candidate for president next year. She has been is a fierce critic of big pharmaceuticals companies and private health insurers.

The poster child of the worry is Dow component UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:), up most of the day until the selling frenzy started. It ended down slightly on the day. It fell 7.6% on the week and is down 8% for the month and 13.6% for the year.

Financial stocks were higher led by Wells Fargo (NYSE:), up 3.8% after naming Charles Scharf CEO, ending a six-month search. Scharf has been CEO of Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE:). Wells Fargo has struggled to resolve a host of operational scandals that hurt small customers especially.

Also higher were retailers, including Dillards (NYSE:), Nordstrom (NYSE:) and Best Buy (NYSE:) and Macy’s (NYSE:).

Oil prices moved lower because of trade jitters and the tensions over the House impeachment inquiry into President Trump. crude fell 50 cents to $55.91 a barrel. was off 83 cents to $61.19.

also fell $8.80 to $1,506.40 an ounce in New York.

Interest rates started higher as stocks rallied at the open, but fell back as investors sought safety in bonds. The yield, once up to 1.725%, fell back to 1.684%, a slight decline on the day.