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Wall Street extends losses as China trade deal hopes fade again

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Wall Street was in the red for a second straight day on Wednesday as the light at the end of the tunnel in the US-China trade war continued to dim. Investors also digested the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting minutes, which confirmed the US central bank is unlikely to cut interest rates again any time soon.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and broader S&P 500 both fell 0.4 percent to end the day at 27,821.09 and 3,108.37, respectively, in the second straight day of losses. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 0.5 percent, closing at 8,526.73.

The three major indices all remain less than one percent below all-time highs recorded on Monday.

Trump told reporters again on Wednesday that talks with Beijing continued but that he felt no pressure to strike a bargain.

Stocks sank mid-afternoon following a Reuters report that the partial trade deal with China that President Donald Trump announced last month may not be completed before the end of this year. Washington is poised to add tariffs on another $160 billion in Chinese goods next month.

Trump told reporters again on Wednesday that talks with Beijing continued but that he felt no pressure to strike a bargain. Hope for a successful truce had lifted Wall Street to fresh records this month.

Read more: US-China trade deal nearing finalization

“You can see that it has been paring some of these losses,” Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial, told AFP. “If we pare the losses, it suggests that traders and investors think there’s still hope for a phase one deal.”

Among individual companies, big-box retailer Target soared 14.3 percent — its best day since August 21 — after reporting higher third-quarter earnings on a 4.5 percent increase in comparable store sales.

Home-improvement retailer Lowe’s also jumped 3.9 percent as it also reported higher profits that it said reflected a “solid macroeconomic backdrop” that has boosted consumption.

AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk.

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