Dow, S&P Pare Losses Into Close, Nasdaq Closes in the Green
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Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped sharply Thursday after the arrest of a high-level Chinese business executive threatened to unravel the U.S. and China trade truce.
  • Chipmakers with exposure to markets in China, such as Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD)  and Micron Technology Inc. (MU) , traded mixed Thursday. 
  • Facebook Inc. (FB)  was up 0.5% following the release of documents by British lawmakers that questioned the social media giant's use of customer data.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks were falling significantly but off session lows Thursday after the arrest of a high-level Chinese business executive in Canada that threatens to unravel the trade truce between Washington and Beijing.

Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of China's Huawei Technologies Co. and the daughter of the company's founder, was detained in Vancouver on Dec. 1, and faces extradition to the United States amid reported allegations that she assisted the world's second-largest smartphone maker in evading U.S. sanctions on Iran.

News of the arrest, which only came to light late Wednesday, sent global shares lower as investors worried about reprisals from Beijing and the potential collapse of the uneasy truce between Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"At the request of the U.S. side, the Canadian side arrested a Chinese citizen not violating any American or Canadian law. The Chinese side firmly opposes and strongly protests over such kind of actions which seriously harmed the human rights of the victim," said the Chinese embassy in Canada in a statement. " The Chinese side has lodged stern representations with the U.S. and Canadian side, and urged them to immediately correct the wrongdoing and restore the personal freedom of Ms. Meng Wanzhou. We will closely follow the development of the issue and take all measures to resolutely protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 79 points, or 0.32%, to 24,948, the S&P 500 declined 0.15%, and the Nasdaq was gained 0.42%. The Dow and S&P closed the day holding on to slim year-to-date gains. 

While the selling is related to concerns about future trade relations, "we believe the market has over-reacted and is now overpricing these risks," Mark Haefele, chief investment officer for UBS wrote in a note to clients Thursday afternoon.

Chipmakers linked to Huawei were paring losses Thursday and smartphone rivals such as Apple Inc. (AAPL) faced the prospect of consumer boycotts or restrictions should authorities in China choose to react.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc.  (AMD) , which provides chips for Huawei's MateBook D tablet, and Micron Technology Inc.  (MU)   traded mixed Thursday after falling sharply earlier in the session. 

As stocks tumble, some investors have been moving away from growth stocks.

"Our preference going into the new year is more value oriented, as opposed to growth," said Amanda Agati, co-chief investment strategist for PNC Financial Services.

Oil prices dropped after Saudi Arabia's powerful energy minister dampened hopes for steep production cuts at the OPEC meeting in Vienna amid speculation that non-member allies such as Russia may not follow the cartel's lead despite a glut in global crude that has prices more than 30% lower over the past two months.

Brent crude contracts for February delivery, the global benchmark, fell 3.64% to $59.32 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude contracts for January delivery, which are more tightly linked to U.S. gas prices, were down 3.54% to $51.02.

The United States added 179,000 jobs to private payrolls in November, according to the ADP National Employment Report. Economists surveyed by FactSet expected 195,000. The ADP number is a precursor to the official U.S. jobs report for last month, which will be released Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Facebook Inc. (FB)  was up 1.1% Thursday following the release of documents by British lawmakers that suggested the social media giant had offered to sell data on users' friends to select companies in late 2015 and denied other competitors access to key platform information.

The stock also was pressured by a downgrade from Stifel, which cut its rating on the stock to hold from buy and warned that the company's long string of negative headlines and transparency concerns could lead to regulatory restrictions and a broader exodus of users.

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Kroger Co. (KR)  rose 3.2% despite a fall in the grocer's profit year over year and same-store sales that came in short of Wall Street expectations.

Lam Research Corp. (LRCX) said Martin Anstice, CEO of the semiconductor company, resigned Wednesday amid allegations of "misconduct in the workplace and conduct inconsistent with the company's core values."

Lam Research said in a statement that Anstice's "alleged conduct did not involve financial misconduct, nor did it relate to questions regarding the integrity of the company's financial systems or controls." Anstice, Lam Research said, won't be receiving any severance benefits.

The stock was down 3.45%.

 

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