Stocks move lower on Wall Street over trade anxiety

NEW YORK — Stocks fell in early trading on Wall Street Thursday as investors worry that the U.S. and China will fail to make a trade deal before the year is over.

The world’s largest economies have been negotiating a resolution to their trade war ahead of new tariffs set to hit key consumer goods on Dec. 15.

Investors have been hoping for a deal before that happens. The tariffs would increase prices on smartphones, laptops and many common household goods.

China’s Commerce Ministry batted away rumours that the talks were in trouble. A ministry spokesman said Beijing was committed to continuing discussions on core concerns. The Wall Street Journal is also reporting that China’s chief negotiator has called for more face-to-face negotiations.

Technology stocks were among the biggest losers in the early going. Many chipmakers and companies that make hardware rely on China for sales and supply chains.

Health care stocks also fell broadly.

Rising oil prices helped lift energy stocks. Exxon Mobil rose 1.4%.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.77% from 1.74% late Wednesday.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 0.3% as of 10:20 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 92 points, or 0.3%, to 27,727. The Nasdaq fell 0.4%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks fell 0.5%.

DEALS OF THE DAY: Tiffany jumped 2.6% following a report that LVMH would raise its bid for the company. TD Ameritrade soared 15% after a report that Charles Schwab was in talks to acquire it.

PayPal slipped 1% after saying it would buy Honey Science, which helps people find coupons and discounts while they shop online.

MIXED SHOPPING BAG: Retailers continued to report a mixed batch of earnings. Macy’s fell 2.7% after cutting its profit and sales forecast. Investors rewarded Victoria’s Secret owner L Brands with a 10.4% gain after the company met Wall Street’s profit expectations.

Several other well-known retailers will report earnings later Thursday, including Nordstrom and Gap.

OVERSEAS: European and Asian markets moved broadly lower. The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development forecast global economic growth to be 2.9% in 2019, which would mark the lowest growth since the financial crisis.

Damian J. Troise, The Associated Press