Doubts About ‘Phase One’ Serve as Weight on Stock Indexes

Stocks fell on Wednesday, pulling back from record highs after reports a so-called phase one trade deal between China and the U.S. may not be completed by the end of 2019.

The Dow Jones Industrials fell 112.93 points to 27,821.09.

The S&P 500 doffed 11.72 points to 3,108.46.

The NASDAQ backed off 43.93 points from Tuesday’s all-time high, at 8,526.73

Apple shares dropped to close 1.2% lower along with Caterpillar. Broadcom pulled back 1.9% while Analog Devices and Qualcomm both closed more than 2% lower.

Reports, citing trade experts and people close to the Trump administration, indicated the completion of a partial trade deal could be pushed into 2020 as China seeks more extensive tariff rollbacks.

Earlier, the Wall Street Journal said, citing former Trump administration officials, that the ongoing trade talks could hit an impasse.

Uncertainty around trade also grew after the Senate passed a bill supporting Hong Kong protesters. This led China to accuse the U.S. of interfering in domestic affairs.

Target shares jumped more than 14%, their biggest one-day gain since Aug. 21, after the retailer posted quarterly results that easily beat expectations. Target also raised its full-year profit outlook. Lowe’s advanced 3.9% on stronger-than-forecast earnings and an improved profit forecast for fiscal 2019.

Elsewhere, investors digested the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s meeting in October. The minutes showed Fed officials see little need to cut rates any further. The U.S. central bank decided to lower the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to a range of 1.5% to 1.75% late last month.

Prices for the 10-Year U.S. Treasury acquired some new ground, lowering yields to 1.74% from Tuesday’s 1.79%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained $1.70 to $56.91 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dropped $1.20 to $1,473.10 U.S. an ounce.