Stocks slide as China cancels US farmer visit

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez MonsivaisIn this Dec. 1, 2018, photo, President Donald Trump, second from right, meets with China’s President Xi Jinping, second from left, during their bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. China promised Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, to carry out a tariff cease-fire with Washington but gave no details that might help dispel confusion about what Presidents Xi and Trump agreed to in Argentina.

Stocks sunk on Friday after Chinese trade officials cancelled a planned visit to the US, sparking fears that Thursday’s trade negotiations may not have brought the two countries closer to striking a deal.

The Chinese delegation was previously scheduled to visit US farms in Montana next week, the Montana Farm Bureau told Reuters on Friday. The visit was being viewed as a gesture of goodwill to the Trump administration ahead of further trade talks.

This latest development comes after President Trump said earlier this week China began purchasing US agricultural products again. The US and China also engaged in deputy-level talks on Thursday to lay the groundwork for high-level talks set to kick-off in October.

The development is the latest twist-and-turn in the US-China trade conflict which has kept investors on edge over the last several months.

Here’s a look at the major indexes as of the 4 p.m. close on Friday:

Shares of Roku cratered as much as 23% after Pivotal Research slapped a rare sell-rating on the stock and a $US60 price target. Pivotal analyst Jeffrey Wlodarczak said in a note to clients that he predicts increased competition in the streaming sector will drive device prices “to zero.”

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Netflix’s stock price tumbled as much as 7% after a Bernstein analyst said the company’s shares could fall another 21% before hitting a “theoretical floor.” Shares of the streaming company have fallen more than 21% over the last three months after reporting disappointing second-quarter earnings.

Within the S&P 500, these were the largest gainers:

And the largest decliners:

Consumer discretionary and technology stocks tumbled more than 1.1%, while financials fell 0.6%. Healthcare climbed 0.6%.

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