Stocks slide as Beijing orders US consulate in China shut

China closing US consulate in Chengdu a de-escalation: Expert

American Enterprise Institute Research Fellow Zack Cooper argues China could have chosen to close another U.S. consulate that does more business and more than just visa stamping amid rising tensions.

U.S. equity markets were weaker on Friday as China retaliated against the U.S. for the closing of its Houston consulate and President Trump readied executive orders on drug pricing.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 146 points, or 0.55 percent, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were lower by 0.64 percent and 1.53 percent, respectively.

Beijing ordered the U.S. consulate in Chengdu to close a day after the U.S. said the Chinese consulate in Houston was used as a hub for spying. China-based companies traded in the U.S., including Alibaba, Baidu and Weibo saw outsized losses.

Meanwhile, healthcare stocks were in focus as Trump prepares for a 3 p.m. ET announcement on prescription medication.

On Wall Street, Goldman Sachs reached a $3.9 billion settlement with Malaysia over the 1MDB money-laundering scandal in which the investment bank was accused of organizing bond sales that helped a former leader steal billions intended to accelerate the country’s economic development.

Looking at earnings, Intel beat on the top and bottom lines, but executives warned the company’s next-generation chip would be delayed until late 2022 or early 2023 after last saying it was expected in 2021.

American Express net income fell 85 percent as consumers spent less while riding out the COVID-19 pandemic from home.

Oilfield services provider Schlumberger booked a $3.7 billion writedown and said 2020 capital investment would be down 45 percent from the prior year.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil traded up 17 cents at $41.24 per barrel while gold rose $12.60 to $1,902.30 a day after booking a record-high close.

U.S. Treasurys were little changed with the yield on the 10-year note holding near 0.6 percent.

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In Europe, Germany’s DAX paced the decline, down 1.82 percent, while France’s CAC and Britain’s FTSE were off 1.35 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.

Asian markets finished lower across the board as China’s Shanghai Composite tumbled 3.86 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slid 2.21 percent and Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.58 percent.

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