U.S. stocks pared earlier losses in afternoon trading Friday after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin described high-stakes trade talks with the Chinese delegation in Washington as “constructive.”
Mnuchin made the remarks to reporters after the negotiations between the two countries ended with no deal. The Chinese delegation is expected to leave Friday evening.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 121 points, or 0.47%, to 25,707 in afternoon trading, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 14 points, or 0.48%, to 2,857. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 58 points, or 0.74%, to 7,852.
Traders are jittery about an intensifying trade war with China. The discussions on Friday followed new, higher tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods that the Trump administration imposed at midnight.
“Investors are uncomfortable with uncertainty,” said Charlie Wilson, managing director at Thornburg Investment Management, in an email. “An escalation in the trade war between the U.S. and China increases the uncertainty about near term growth and the impact on company earnings.”