Investing.com — U.S. stock markets opened lower again on Friday amid growing concerns that the deterioration of U.S.-China relations over the Covid-19 pandemic will breathe new life into an economically damaging trade war that had been in suspended animation since January.
Wall Street was also hit by figures showing the biggest ever monthly drop in retail sales in April, the first full month of lockdowns dictated by public health concerns. April’s data for industrial production and manufacturing output were, however, marginally better than expected.
By 9:40 AM ET (1340 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 137 points, or 0.6%, at 23,448 points, while the S&P 500 was down 19 points, or 0.7%. In a conspicuous contrast to recent trading patterns, the Nasdaq Composite was underperforming, losing 0.9% as semiconductor stocks – typically sensitive to the trade issue – fell more sharply than most.