Wall Street drops as White House weighs delisting Chinese companies

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By Ambar Warrick and Medha Singh

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks slipped 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 4% and 7% on the news.

The tariff-sensitive Philadelphia semiconductor index () extended its decline to 1.7%. The index was already under pressure from Micron Technology Inc’s (O:) 10% tumble after forecasting a disappointing first-quarter profit.

The S&P technology () sector slipped 1.2%, the most among the 11 major S&P sectors.

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

“You never know if it’s a ploy to get some leverage on those talks … it could be just trying to rile up the base, but at face value, it’s going to be a bit of a negative for the markets,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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 4.1% and were 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%.

In addition to trade headlines, investors will next week focus on the 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.

At 13:14 ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average () was down 47.87 points, or 0.18%, at 26,843.25, the S&P 500 () was down 14.31 points, or 0.48%, at 2,963.31. The Nasdaq Composite () was down 79.54 points, or 0.99%, at 7,951.12.

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 personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, the Fed’s preferred inflation measure, rose to 1.8% in August, the biggest rise in prices since January.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.36-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.47-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 11 new 52-week highs and five new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 24 new highs and 83 new lows.

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