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Stocks - Wall Street Falls on Trade Hurdles Over Hong Kong Bill

Investing.com – Wall Street slumped on Friday as trade tensions between the U.S. and China rose after Beijing strongly rebuked U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to sign a bill that backed protests in Hong Kong.

The Dow was down 84 points, or 0.3%, by 9:50 AM ET (13:50 GMT), while the S&P 500 fell 7 points, or 0.2%, and the Nasdaq composite lost 24 points, or 0.3%.

Chinese officials have threatened to take “firm countermeasures” and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng demanded that Washington immediately stop interfering in China’s domestic affairs.

"It is definitely a concern that the signing of the Hong Kong bill will be seen as an impediment to an agreement," said Rick Meckler, partner at Cherry Lane Investments in New Jersey.

"At this point, investors are also using this as an opportunity to take some profits."

Trade was expected to be thin, as markets close early due to the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.

Retailers were mixed as Black Friday kicked off the holiday shopping frenzy. Macy’s (NYSE:M) fell 1.1%, Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) slipped 0.4% and Walmart (NYSE:WMT) gained 1%.

Chevron (NYSE:CVX) was down 1% after news that it is selling its stake in two Nigerian offshore oil and gas blocks as it moves its focus to U.S.-based production and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) inched down 0.1%.

Elsewhere, Tech Data (NASDAQ:TECD) jumped 12% after it agreed to a takeover bid from private equity firm Apollo Global in a deal worth $5.14 billion excluding debt, or $145 per share.

In commodities, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.1% to 98.385 and gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,462.85 a troy ounce. Crude oil futures tumbled 2.8% to $56.51 a barrel.

-- Reuters contributed to this report

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