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* China casts doubts about long-term trade deal
* Apple, Facebook gain on upbeat results
* Estee Lauder falls after profit forecast cut
* Indexes down: Dow 0.81%, S&P 0.61%, Nasdaq 0.41% (Updates to early afternoon)
By Arjun Panchadar
Oct 31 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Thursday as worries that the United States and China may not be able to strike a trade deal overshadowed strong earnings reports from Apple and Facebook.
The S&P 500 was on pace for its biggest drop in nearly three weeks, after notching intraday record highs in the past three sessions.
All of its 11 major sectors were either trading flat or in the red. Interest-rate sensitive bank stocks shed 1.5%, a day after the Federal Reserve lowered borrowing costs for the third time this year.
Tempering recent optimism around trade was a Bloomberg report that said Chinese officials have doubts about whether it is possible to reach a comprehensive long-term trade deal with Washington and U.S. President Donald Trump.
However, Trump said the two countries would soon announce a new site where a “Phase One” trade deal will be signed after Chile cancelled a planned summit set for mid-November.
“Trade headlines continue to offset solid earnings and optimism from the Fed and rightfully so because the global economy is really struggling right now and most of it has to do with trade,” said Ryan Nauman, market strategist at Informa Financial Intelligence in Zephyr Cove, Nevada.
The trade-sensitive industrials sector shed 1.23%, while China exposed chipmakers also fell, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor index slipping 1.14%.
However, corporate earnings were a bright spot. Apple Inc rose 2% after the iPhone maker forecast sales for the holiday shopping quarter ahead of expectations.
Facebook Inc gained 2% after reporting an uptick in users in lucrative markets and its third straight rise in quarterly sales growth..
At 12:34 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 221.13 points, or 0.81%, at 26,965.56, the S&P 500 was down 18.72 points, or 0.61%, at 3,028.05 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 34.41 points, or 0.41%, at 8,269.57.
Data on Thursday showed a marginal rise in consumer spending in September, casting doubts on consumers’ ability to continue driving the economy.
The Labor Department’s crucial jobs data on Friday will be closely watched after the Fed signalled on Wednesday that there would be no further cuts unless the economy takes a turn for the worse.
“You have a solid economy, a strong consumer but negative headlines on trade and slowing global growth. They are offsetting each other and that’s what we’re seeing in the markets,” Nauman said.
Among other stocks, Estee Lauder Cos Inc fell 4.8% after the cosmetics maker cut its forecast for full-year profit.
Kraft Heinz Co jumped 13% as the packaged foods company said it was spending more on marketing key brands next year, after reporting a better-than-expected third-quarter profit.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.01-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 2.22-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 24 new 52-week highs and five new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 54 new highs and 63 new lows. (Reporting by Arjun Panchadar and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Arun Koyyur)