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US Stocks Lower on New US-China Worries11/20 16:09

   Stocks closed broadly lower on Wall Street Wednesday as investors turned 
anxious about the possibility that the U.S. and China may not reach a trade 
deal before next year.

   (AP) -- Stocks closed broadly lower on Wall Street Wednesday as investors 
turned anxious about the possibility that the U.S. and China may not reach a 
trade deal before next year.

   Technology stocks took the heaviest losses. Communication services and 
industrial stocks also were big losers. Banks fell as bond yields declined. 
Energy stocks notched the biggest gains as crude oil prices rebounded.

   A published report suggested a "phase one" trade pact may not be completed 
this year as negotiators continue to wrestle over differences. Beijing is 
pressing Washington to agree to broader tariff rollbacks on Chinese goods.

   Investors have been hoping the world's two biggest economies can make a deal 
before new and more damaging tariffs take effect Dec. 15 on about $160 billion 
in Chinese imports. Those duties would cover smartphones, laptops and other 
consumer goods.

   "If a deal is not going to get done before the end of the year, then all of 
a sudden this uncertainty comes back in around what's going to happen around 
December 15," said Scott Ladner, chief investment officer at Horizon 
Investments. "Are the tariffs back on the table again? The market has certainly 
come to expect that those are not going to happen."

   The selling nudged the major U.S. stock indexes off their recent all-time 

   The S&P 500 index dropped 11.72 points, or 0.4%, to 3,108.46. The Dow Jones 
Industrial Average lost 112.93 points, or 0.4%, to 27,821.09. The index was 
briefly down 258 points.

   The Nasdaq slid 43.93, or 0.5%, to 8,526.73. The Russell 2000 index of 
smaller company stocks gave up 6.68 points, or 0.4%, to 1,591.61.

   Major stock indexes in Europe also closed lower. 

   Growing optimism among investors that the U.S. and China were making 
progress toward a limited trade deal helped pave the way for gains in the 
market in recent weeks, including a string of all-time highs for the major 
stock indexes.

   That optimism dimmed Wednesday as investors weighed the implications of more 
tariffs kicking in next month.

   The two countries have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other's 
goods in the fight over China's trade surplus and technology ambitions. That 
weighs on trade worldwide and threatens to depress corporate earnings and 
global economic growth, which has already showed signs of slowing.

   President Donald Trump said Tuesday he was prepared to raise tariffs on 
Chinese exports if the nations can't reach an agreement on trade.

   The Senate may have complicated the path to a deal Wednesday, when it passed 
a resolution in support of human rights in Hong Kong following months of 
antigovernment protests. China condemned the move and threatened "strong 

   Technology and communication services companies were among the biggest 
losers Wednesday. HP fell 2% and AT&T slid 2.2%.

   Citigroup dropped 1.2% as financial stocks fell along with bond yields. The 
yield on the 10-year Treasury slid to 1.74% from 1.78% late Tuesday. Falling 
bond yields hurt banks because they are a benchmark for the interest rates 
lenders charge on mortgages and other loans.

   Energy companies held up better than the rest of the market as oil prices 
climbed 3.4%. ConocoPhillips rose 3.8%.

   Benchmark crude oil rose $1.90 to settle at $57.11 a barrel. Brent crude 
oil, the international standard, gained $1.49 to close at $62.40 a barrel.

   Utilities, real estate companies and makers of household goods also rose as 
traders favored less-risky and higher-dividend paying stocks.

   Investors also had their eye on the latest batch of quarterly results from 
big retailers.

   Target surged 14.1% after handily beating Wall Street's third-quarter 
earnings estimates. The retailer also raised its profit forecast for the year.

   Lowe's rose 3.9% after raising its profit forecast for the year following a 
solid third quarter. The home improvement retailer has been working to improve 
profit and sales to better compete with rival Home Depot, which on Tuesday cut 
its profit forecast after reporting disappointing earnings. The stock dropped 

   Urban Outfitters plunged 15.2% after the clothing and accessories retailer 
fell short of Wall Street's third-quarter profit and sales forecasts.

   In other commodities trading, wholesale gasoline rose 6 cents to $1.66 per 
gallon. Heating oil climbed 3 cents to $1.89 per gallon. Natural gas rose 5 
cents to $2.56 per 1,000 cubic feet.

   Gold was unchanged at $1,473.30 per ounce, silver was unchanged at $17.10 
per ounce and copper was unchanged at $2.65 per pound.

   The dollar rose to 108.64 Japanese yen from 108.53 yen on Tuesday. The euro 
weakened to $1.1070 from $1.1078.


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