Wall Street Slips on China Fears, Holiday Lethargy By Investing.com

© Reuters.

Investing.com – Stocks fell Friday on a holiday-shortened trading day ostensibly because of new worries about the long-awaited phase one U.S.-China trade deal.

The and fell 0.4%. The dropped 0.46%. The dropped about 0.5%.

U.S. markets were closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The China issue was that President Donald Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, and the Beijing was unhappy about it and threatened unspecified retaliation. The noise pressured stocks and sent up $11.90 in New York to $1,472.70 an ounce.

Wall Street reacted as if it was just more of the same in a long negotiation, with regular eruptions of anger from both sides, and that a phase one trade deal is still coming.

The larger issue was an absence of demand to buy stocks because many investors are comfortable the stock market’s current state.

Stocks enjoyed their best month since June. The finished 3.4% higher for November, with the up 3.72% and the Nasdaq up 4.5%.

For the year, the S&P 500 is up 25.3%, with the Dow up 20.3% and the Nasdaq up 30.6%.

If stocks are flat in December, the market will have its best gains since 2013.

But the euphoria must be tempered by the fourth-quarter slump a year ago, when the S&P 500 fell 14%, the Dow dropped 11.8% and the Nasdaq tumbled 17.5%.

On the Friday after Thanksgiving in 2018, the fourth-quarter market swoon was erupting in a big way, leading to a decline of 9% for the S&P 500, and Nasdaq in December 2018

Early notes this year suggested the big Black Friday holiday shopping spree was going well, if not gangbusters. But some noted that there were pre-holiday sales appearing regularly across the country.

All 11 sectors of the S&P 500 were lower on the day. Financial stocks were least affected by the selling. But energy stocks were the weak link as oil prices moved lower. The selling was due in part because of worries next week’s OPEC meeting won’t produce meaningful action to reduce output among OPEC members. In addition, the United States proved a net exporter of for the first time since records were kept.

IBM (NYSE:) was the top stock. Walmart (NYSE:) was up slightly. Apple (NASDAQ:) hit a 52-week high but then fell back.

crude was off more than 4% to $55.56 a barrel. The February contract for t crude, the global benchmark, was down 3.8% to $60.78 a barrel.

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