(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes extended declines on Thursday after a report that the United States was unlikely to extend a temporary waiver over Huawei’s blacklisting, adding to worries related to an inquiry into the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., September 18, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Technology stocks .SPLRCT dropped 0.48% after Bloomberg’s report on China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd. The Philadelphia semiconductor index .SOX, which includes a number of companies that supply to the Chinese telecom equipment maker, fell 0.73%.
A whistleblower report released earlier in the day alleged Trump used his office to solicit interference in the 2020 presidential election from a foreign country. The report is seen as central to the impeachment inquiry.
“I don’t see this necessarily as a market issue unless you consider the fact that if the Chinese see that Trump’s strength in office is somewhat threatened, then perhaps they will be more emboldened to try to postpone any trade negotiations until after elections,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.
The S&P energy sector .SPNY, down 1.75%, was the worst performer among the 11 major S&P sectors, tracking lower oil prices after a rebound in Saudi Arabian supply.
The defensive consumer staples .SPLRCS, utilities .SPLRCU and real estate .SPLRCR were the only gainers.
The three sectors are also the best performing S&P indexes this quarter as investors switched to defensive plays in the face of escalating Sino-U.S. trade tensions and mixed data that has fanned global growth concerns.
Facebook Inc (FB.O) slipped 2.4% as a person familiar with the matter told Reuters that the U.S. Justice Department will open an antitrust investigation of the social media company.
Losses in the social network’s stock pulled the communication services .SPLRCS sector down 0.38%.
At 11:31 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was down 136.87 points, or 0.51%, at 26,833.84 and the S&P 500 .SPX was down 17.84 points, or 0.60%, at 2,967.03. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 76.14 points, or 0.94%, at 8,001.25.
The benchmark S&P 500 index came within spitting distance of its July all-time high last week, but has since widened the gap on conflicting trade headlines and political uncertainty.
Leisure cruise operator Carnival Corp (CCL.N) dropped 8.1% and was set for its worst day in six months after it cut its full-year profit forecast for the third time on the back of higher fuel prices.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.69-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 2.48-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 23 new 52-week highs and five new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 21 new highs and 70 new lows.
Reporting by Ambar Warrick and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Sriraj Kalluvila