Wall Street closes the week mixed as trade worries resurface

  • Retails sales growth slows down in August.
  • Trump gives the green light to China tariffs.
  • Major indexes record gains for the week.

After starting the last day of the week higher, major equity indexes lost their traction and finished the week on a mixed note on resurfacing concerns over Trump administration's trade policies.

A Bloomberg report on Friday stated that President Donald Trump told aides to go ahead with $200 billion China tariffs despite an attempt by Washington to restart trade negotiations and weighed on the market sentiment. Confirming Bloomberg's claims, "President Trump has been clear that he and his administration will continue to take action to address China’s unfair trade practices," the White House said in a statement.

“There are a lot of headlines that have come out here, people have been pretty active all week, and it’s Friday afternoon. You don’t really want to add additional risk when you don’t know what news might hit over the weekend,” Michael O’Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut, told Reuters.

The S&P 500 Information Technology Index, which outperformed the other major sector yesterday, failed to preserve its momentum and closed the day virtually flat. On the other hand, despite the fact that the West Texas Intermediate failed to break above $70 and dropped below $69, Baker Hughes report, which showed a big increase in the number of active oil rigs, boosted the S&P 500 Energy Index and helped it close 0.56% higher.

Meanwhile, the data from the U.S. earlier today showed that retail sales in August rose only 0.1% to fall short of the market expectation of 0.4%. However, the July reading received an upward revision to 0.7% from 0.5%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 8.17 points, or 0.03%, to 26,154.16, the S&P 500 gained 0.32 points, or 0.01%, to 2,904.50 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 4.86 points, or 0.06%, to 8,008.85. For the week, these three indexes added 0.9%, 1.2%, and 1.4%, respectively.

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