- US stocks edged lower Friday following signs that China’s economic recovery my be more fragile than hoped.
- China’s government did not set an annual economic target for the nation for the first time in decades amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- Oil prices slumped as much as 9% amid broader risk-off sentiment.
- Tensions between the US and China flared again after Beijing said it would impose new national security legislation’s in Hong Kong.
- Read more on Business Insider.
US stocks edged lower on Friday as investors weighed signs that China’s economic recovery may not be as strong as previously hoped.
China’s government decided to pull its annual target for economic growth for the first time in decades amid uncertainty from the coronavirus pandemic.
Renewed tensions between Washington and Beijing also impacted sentiment. China proposed new security legislation in Hong Kong that would threaten the financial hub and could cause further issues with the US. On Thursday, President Donald Trump said the US would react strongly if China were to impose the national security legislation in Hong Kong.
Here’s where US indexes stood at the 9:30 a.m. ET market open on Friday:
- S&P 500: 2,938.98, down 0.3%
- Dow Jones industrial average: 24,375.18, down 0.4% (99 points)
- Nasdaq composite: 9,250.61, down 0.4%
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Oil prices slumped, snapping a six-day winning streak. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell as much as 9.4%, to $30.72 per barrel, before paring those losses to 3% at 9:35 a.m. ET in New York. Brent crude fell 7%, to $33.54 per barrel, at intraday lows.
“Although investors have been willing to look past the gloomy economic data so far, in the hope that the worst of the global pandemic has passed, such a view might be shattered if the barbs traded between the world’s two largest economies actually translate into actual policy action,” Han Tan, a market analyst at FXTM, told Business Insider.
Earnings season continued as well. Shares of tractor-maker Deere & Company rose after the company released better-than-expected earnings results. Hewlett Packard fell after the tech giant reported a $821 million loss.
Drugmaker Moderna climbed roughly 5% Dr. Anthony Fauci – a top White House health advisor – said he was cautiously optimistic about recent data on the company’s potential Covid-19 vaccine.