Wall St drops; White House considers delisting Chinese companies

VIDEO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - US stocks fell on Friday (Sept 27) after reports that the Trump administration was considering delisting Chinese companies from US stock exchanges, raising worries about a further escalation in the US-China trade war.

The move would be part of a broader effort to limit US investment in Chinese companies, sources told Reuters.

High-level trade talks between Washington and Beijing are scheduled for Oct 10-11, before the start of the US third-quarter earnings season.

"If our policies spark a major sell-off in Shanghai where that creates problems for China, that could negatively impact the trade negotiations, which are supposed to start on Oct 10.

That is where the US-based fear would come from," said Michael O'Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut.

The tariff-sensitive Philadelphia semiconductor index extended its decline after the reports and ended down 2.4 per cent on the day. The index was already under pressure from Micron Technology's, which tumbled after it forecast a disappointing first-quarter profit.

The S&P technology index dropped 1.3 per cent.

US-listed shares of Alibaba Group Holding, Baidu and JD.com all slid.

Adding to the negative momentum in afternoon trade, the S&P 500 index briefly fell below its 50-day moving average.

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 70.87 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 26,820.25, the S&P 500 lost 15.83 points, or 0.53 per cent, to 2,961.79 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 91.03 points, or 1.13 per cent, to 7,939.63.

All three indexes ended lower for the week as well, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq registering their biggest weekly percentage drops since August. The Cboe volatility index ended at a three-week high.

Shares of Wells Fargo & Co rose 3.8 per cent and the stock was the top gainer in the S&P 500 after the lender named banking veteran Charles Scharf as chief executive officer.

Data early in the day showed US consumer spending barely rose in August, suggesting that the economy's main growth engine was slowing after accelerating sharply in the second quarter.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.38-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.94-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 11 new 52-week highs and six new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 29 new highs and 118 new lows.

Volume on US exchanges was 6.68 billion shares, compared to the 7.2 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.