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Wednesday November 20th, 2019 10:59PM

Stocks edge lower as investors listen for trade deal clues

By The Associated Press
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NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks fell in early trading Friday as investors grew more uncertain about prospects for a trade deal between the U.S. and China.

The market is still poised for a winning week and major indexes were just below record highs set a day earlier.

Wall Street has been cheering the latest push to sign an agreement before more costly tariffs on a wide range of consumer products go into effect on Dec. 15. Those cheers were muffled late Thursday over reports that U.S. officials are still deliberating the extent of easing tariffs if talks progress.

Energy stocks were among the biggest decliners in the early going as the price of oil dipped 1.6%. ConocoPhillips fell 1.9%.

Technology companies also fell. Many of the companies in the sector rely on China for sales and supplies, which make them more sensitive to swings in trade war sentiment. Broadcom fell 1.3% and Micron shed 1.6%.

Banks also slipped. Principal Financial fell 1.7%.

Walt Disney was a standout among communications companies with solid gains following surprisingly good earnings.

Several other companies rose following solid earnings reports. Energy drink maker Monster Beverage rose 6.3% and Bookings Holdings gained 5.4%.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.91% from 1.92% late Thursday.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 0.1% as of 10:16 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 41 points, or 0.1%, to 27,632. The Nasdaq fell 0.1%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks was little change. European and Asian markets fell.

WEEK OF RECORDS: The S&P 500 had another solid week of record-setting days. The index closed at an all-time high of 3,085.18 on Thursday, its second record-setting day of the week. It is also on track for its fifth straight week of gains.

The Dow also had a solid week and reached a record of 27,674.80 on Thursday. That was its third record-setting day of the week.

The Nasdaq hit a record of 8,434.68 on Tuesday, its second record this week.

ROARING MOUSE: Walt Disney rose 4.4% after handily beating Wall Street's fiscal fourth-quarter profit forecasts on surging revenue because of films including "The Lion King" and "Toy Story 4". The company also said it received a positive response from a test of its planned streaming service, Disney Plus.

WIDENING GAP: The retailer fell 6.3% after slashing its profit forecast for the year and announcing the resignation of CEO Art Peck. The company has been struggling to turn around a long-standing sales slump and is splitting into two publicly traded companies, one for its Old Navy brand and another for the Gap, Banana Republic and its lesser known brands like Athleta, Intermix and Hill City.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets
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