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* Chipmaker stocks fall in premarket trade
* Wall St indexes eye worst week since mid-March
* Futures down: Dow 0.95%, S&P 1.04%, Nasdaq 1.43% (Adds details, updates prices)
By Ambar Warrick and Medha Singh
May 15 (Reuters) - Wall Street’s main indexes were set to open lower on Friday after the Trump administration’s move to block semiconductor shipments to China’s Huawei Technologies ratcheted up fears of trade hostilities between Washington and Beijing.
In response, the Global Times editor-in-chief said China would activate the “unreliable entity list”, restrict or investigate U.S. companies such as Qualcomm Inc, Cisco Systems Inc, Apple Inc and suspend the purchase of Boeing Co airplanes.
The Global Times is published by the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party. While the Global Times is not an official mouthpiece of the party, its views are believed to reflect those of its leaders.
Boeing fell 2.9% premarket, the most among the constituents of the Dow Jones index, while Apple and Cisco dropped more than 2%.
Trade-sensitive chipmakers Qualcomm, Micron Technology Inc and Advanced Micro Devices Inc declined between 2% and 6%.
This comes a day after President Donald Trump signaled a further deterioration of his relationship with China over the coronavirus outbreak, going so far as to suggest he could even cut ties with the world’s second largest economy.
A renewed Sino-U.S. trade war could exacerbate the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.
“The overarching concern that we’ve had as this epidemic has worked its way around the globe is that U.S.-China relations are heading in the wrong direction and that can cause a worse economic effect than the pandemic itself,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.
In another sign of economic duress, the U.S. Commerce Department’s report showed retail sales in April sank more than expected, marking a second straight month of record declines as the coronavirus kept shoppers at home.
At 8:45 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 224 points, or 0.95%. S&P 500 e-minis were down 29.75 points, or 1.04% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 130 points, or 1.43%.
Stock futures initially rose on Friday after positive Chinese industrial output data indicated certain facets of the economy would be able to bounce back quickly from the outbreak, although retail sales in the country fell.
Wall Street’s main indexes ended a choppy session higher on Thursday, with the S&P 500 rising more than 1% as investors looked forward to the prospect of some U.S. states lifting curbs on business and social activities.
Still, all three major U.S. stock indexes are set for their worst week since mid-March, as sobering comments on the pandemic from major U.S. officials pointed to a longer period of economic weakness.
Abbott Laboratories slipped 2.7% after U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the company’s speedy coronavirus test could potentially be inaccurate, but can still be used to test patients. (Reporting by Ambar Warrick and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)