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* Sept consumer confidence data weaker than expected
* Retail stocks, Amazon.com fall after data
* Energy sector slips 1% as oil prices fall
* Indexes down: Dow 0.05%, S&P 0.19%, Nasdaq 0.65% (Adds comment, details)
By Ambar Warrick and Arjun Panchadar
Sept 24 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday, after President Donald Trump delivered a stinging rebuke to China’s trade practices, while disappointing consumer confidence data raised concerns over the impact of a prolonged trade war between the two nations.
Trump said he would not accept a “bad deal” in the trade negotiations and that Beijing had failed to keep promises that it made when China joined the World Trade Organization. “The economic data cut the rally in half at 10 and the tone towards China (at) President Trump’s speech at the U.N. General assembly certainly took some of the optimism out of the air,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.
Wall Street’s major indexes opened higher on positive comments on trade talks from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin but slipped after data showed that U.S. consumer confidence for September fell by the most in nine months, to a reading of 125.1, well below economists’ expectations of 133.5.
The retail index slipped 0.6%, while a 1.2% drop in ecommerce giant Amazon.com Inc was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 the Nasdaq.
The report is a bit of a concern, said Everett Millman, precious metals specialist at Gainesville Coins in Lutz, Florida, especially as “consumer confidence has been pretty high at least in the U.S.”
Investors will now look to other data due later this week, including the Fed’s preferred gauge for inflation, for more clues on the strength of the U.S. economy.
At 12:17 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 12.19 points, or 0.05%, at 26,937.80, the S&P 500 was down 5.72 points, or 0.19%, at 2,986.06. The Nasdaq Composite was down 52.48 points, or 0.65%, at 8,059.98.
Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with the energy sector down 1.13%, tracking a drop in oil prices.
Only the defensive consumer staples, utilities and real estate were higher.
Apple Inc was a bright spot, gaining 0.4% after Jefferies assumed coverage with a “buy” rating and highlighted the iPhone maker’s 5G potential.
Video streaming platform Netflix Inc dropped 3.4% to a near nine-month low after Pivotal Research cut its price target.
Nike Inc fell 0.4%, ahead of the world’s largest sportswear maker’s first-quarter results after the bell.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.31-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 2.42-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 31 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 35 new highs and 68 new lows. (Reporting by Ambar Warrick, Arjun Panchadar and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)