By Manas Mishra and Shreyashi Sanyal
(Reuters) – The three major U.S. indexes fell on Thursday after conflicting headlines on U.S-China trade relations and a row between the world’s top two economies over the Hong Kong protest led to uncertainty over the timing of a deal to end the dispute.
All three indexes had opened flat after a report that the United States could delay tariffs on Chinese imports even if a deal was not reached by Dec. 15, when tariffs kick in on goods including items such as electronics and Christmas decorations.
The benchmark S&P 500 ended the last session in the red after Reuters reported that the deal could slide into next year. Political tensions between the two sides after U.S. legislation supporting Hong Kong protests have also dulled the mood.
“With the ebb and flow of developments around trade, we are seeing investors taking a pause,” said Matt Hanna, Portfolio Manager at Summit Global Investments. “The bigger concern right now is whether they are going to get a trade deal done or not.”
Chipmakers with a large revenue exposure to China were down, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor index <.SOX> falling 0.7%.
At 10:19 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was down 76.37 points, or 0.3%, at 27,744.72, the S&P 500 <.SPX> was down 9.64 points, or 0.3%, at 3,098.82. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> was down 23.84 points, or 0.3%, at 8,502.89.
In a bright spot, shares in TD Ameritrade Holding Corp
Tiffany & Co
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.90-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.59-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 10 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 32 new highs and 48 new lows.
(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)