(RTTNews.com) - After initially showing a lack of direction, stocks have moved mostly lower over the course of morning trading on Friday. The major averages have slid into negative territory, adding to the modest losses posted in the previous session.
Currently, the major averages remain in the red. The Dow is down 15.88 points or 0.1 percent at 24,698.10, the Nasdaq is down 28.82 points or 0.4 percent at 7,353.65 and the S&P 500 is down 7.78 points or 0.3 percent at 2,712.35.
Uncertainty about the outcome of the second round of trade talks between the U.S. and China is likely weighing on the markets.
Various news outlets said China had offered to reduce its trade surplus with the U.S. by $200 billion, although Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang quickly denied the reports.
"This rumor is not true. This, I can confirm," Lu told reporters. "I do not know about the offers made by either party."
He added, "As we know the consultations are still underway. I am not getting ahead of that. The consultations themselves are constructive."
On Thursday, President Donald Trump expressed some doubt about whether the high-level trade talks with China will be successful.
Trump told reporters he tends to doubt the talks will be successful in remarks during an Oval Office meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
"The reason I doubt it is because China has become very spoiled," Trump said. "The European Union has become very spoiled. Other countries have become very spoiled, because they always got 100 percent of whatever they wanted from the United States."
However, Trump also claimed he would not allow the U.S. to be taken advantage of anymore and sounded more optimistic in later remarks.
"I can only tell you this; we're going to come out fine with China," Trump said. "Hopefully, China's going to be happy. I think we will be happy."
Semiconductor stocks are seeing considerable weakness in morning trading, resulting in a 1.6 percent drop by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index. The index is pulling back further off the nearly two-month closing high set on Wednesday.
Applied Materials ( AMAT ) is leading the sector lower after the semiconductor equipment maker reported better than expected fiscal second quarter results but provided disappointing revenue guidance.
Banking, steel, and computer hardware stocks have also moved to the downside, while most of the other major sectors are showing more modest moves.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index climbed by 0.4 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index surged up by 1.2 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets are seeing modest weakness on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index is just below the unchanged line, the German DAX Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index are both down by 0.2 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries are regaining ground after trending lower in recent sessions. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 3.3 basis points at 3.076 percent.
Read the original article on RTTNews (http://www.rttnews.com/2896719/stocks-move-to-the-downside-in-morning-trading-u-s-commentary.aspx)
For comments and feedback: contact firstname.lastname@example.org