What Rising Tensions Between U.S., China Mean for Markets

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In intraday trading, stocks were lower Friday as investors retreated from risk markets amid escalating political tension between Washington and Beijing, while parsing better-than-expected earnings reports from prominent names such as Verizon, American Express, and Honeywell.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a speech late Thursday, called China's Communist Party a "Frankenstein" created by the detente policies of former President Richard Nixon. Pompeo attacked Beijing's record on trade, security and human rights.

China said the speech was "filled with ideological bias" while it announced the closure of the U.S. consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu, in response to Washington's shuttering of the Chinese consulate in Houston.

Now let's go over some of the stocks behind the action on Friday.

Intel shares were lower after the chipmaker said its new 7-nanometer processor is around six months behind schedule. The Santa Clara, Calif., the chip giant said it may have to seek outside help to catch up.

And Apple shares were under pressure, pulled down by both U.S.-China tensions and a report that suggested the tech giant could face a lawsuit led by several state attorneys general for allegedly deceiving customers.

Finally, Verizon climbed and reporting better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and sales as stability in its subscriber base linked to people's need to remain connected through the pandemic helped offset a drop in demand for new hardware.

So, what is Jeff Marks, senior portfolio analyst with Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS portfolio watching?

He said that he believes that this is a market negative event.

You can follow Katherine Ross on Twitter at @byKatherineRoss.

Read more from Katherine Ross here.

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