Stocks finished lower Friday as trade headlines overshadowed positive economic data updates. The Dow fell 98 points to cap a weekly loss of 0.7%. The S&P 500 lost 0.6%, while the Nasdaq Composite declined 1%. For the week, the S&P 500 slipped 0.8% while the Tech-heavy Nasdaq retreated 1.3%.
Speculation of stalled trade negotiations between the U.S. and China weighed on investor sentiment. This followed a Reuters report that revealed the Chinese state media blamed the U.S. for the escalating trade tensions and suggested that any further negotiations may be meaningless unless officials in Washington start making concessions. Losses were capped, however, as an additional update showed the U.S plans to remove steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico.
On the data front, a preliminary reading from the University of Michigan showed consumer sentiment is at a 15-year high in May. A separate update revealed the leading economic index increased by 0.2% in April, in-line with consensus estimates. Amid the data updates, Treasuries were mixed along the curve with the yield on the 10-year note off one basis point to 2.39%.
Ten of 11 S&P 500 sectors ended in negative territory with the trade sensitive Industrials group lagging. Deere & Co fell 7.7% to $134.82 after missing earnings estimates and cutting its forward guidance amid uncertainty from the ongoing trade dispute. Energy stocks also underperformed as WTI crude lost 0.2% to $62.75/barrel.
Breadth was negative on issues by 4:1 on the NYSE and 5:2 on the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE Volume was more than 3.2 billion shares.