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Stocks Off Lows As Fears Over China Trade Deal Weigh On Wall Street

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The stock market indexes came off the deepest part of the session but remained sharply lower as a China trade deal appeared to be farther off than Wall Street hoped.

President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are not likely to meet before a key March 1 deadline on trade talks. CNBC first reported the news, and Trump confirmed it himself later in the day. That followed White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow ‘s remarks on Fox Business Network that China and U.S. negotiators remain far apart on an agreement.

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Also Thursday, reports suggested slowing global growth. Industrial production surprisingly fell in Germany and Spain in December, while the European Commission cut its forecast for this year’s eurozone growth.

Those headlines sent the Nasdaq down as much as 1.9% today. In afternoon trading, the Nasdaq was off 1.4%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.1% and the S&P 500 was down 1.3%. Volume was higher compared with the same time on Wednesday, as institutional investors dumped stocks more than any single day over the past several weeks.

Declining stocks led advancers by about an 8-5 ratio on the NYSE and Nasdaq.

Indexes had climbed sharply from their lows around Christmas, and a pause seemed likely as the market approached key chart levels. One of those, as explained in The Big Picture, was the 200-day moving average of the S&P 500. The index got less than 1% from its 200-day average this week before turning lower.

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