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Stocks Slip as Trade Hopes Fade

By Will Horner 

Stocks pulled back Friday as optimism waned regarding the U.S. and China making progress in resolving the trade war.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down 5 points, or less than 0.1%. The broader S&P 500 fell 0.1%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index also declined 0.1%.

Earlier, the Stoxx Europe 600 gauge fell 0.3%. Stocks in Asia also pulled back, with the Hang Seng declining 0.7% and the Shanghai Composite Index losing 0.5%.

While markets had begun betting that a partial trade deal would be accompanied by a rolling-back of existing tariffs, questions remain about President Donald Trump's commitment to offering such concessions. On the same day that China said Beijing and Washington have agreed to mutually lift some tariffs as part of a "phase-one" deal, Peter Navarro, a senior U.S. trade adviser, said there was no formal agreement in place and the final decision would lie with Mr. Trump.

"Until we actually see some type of trade deal, the level of uncertainty -- which ultimately will translate into volatility in the market -- will persist," said Brian O'Reilly, head of investment strategy at the Dublin-based Mediolanum International Funds. "Today, we are just seeing a bit of a recalibration of that over-optimism from a news headline without any hard facts."

Ahead of the New York opening bell, Gap Inc. slumped nearly 10% after the apparel maker pared its profit targets for the year and said Chief Executive Art Peck would step down immediately. Walt Disney Co. shares climbed more than 6% in off-hours trading after its earnings beat analysts' expectations.

Travel-website operator Booking Holdings also gained over 5% following an earnings report that beat expectations.

Within European equities, Cartier's parent Cie. Financière Richemont slipped 4.8% after the Swiss luxury-goods company's earnings fell short of what analysts expected. French bank Natixis was one of the biggest losers after its shares slid 7.5% in Paris as analysts warned of weaknesses in its asset and wealth management operations.

Oil prices also slipped as the cautious mood on the U.S.-China trade spat spilled over into investors' assessment of the global economic outlook. Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, fell 1.4% to $61.41 a barrel.

Later on Friday, global markets, which have also been buoyed lately by signs that a U.S. recession isn't imminent, will gauge signals from a measure of consumer sentiment due to be released by the University of Michigan.

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 08, 2019 09:47 ET (14:47 GMT)

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