November 21, 2019 / 5:37 PM / 25 days ago

US STOCKS-Wall Street slips on conflicting headlines on U.S.-China trade

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* U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods could be delayed - SCMP

* TD Ameritrade surges as Schwab in talks to buy company - CNBC

* Tiffany gains as LVMH raises bid, gets access to books

* Indexes down: Dow 0.3%, S&P 0.3%, Nasdaq 0.4% (Updates comment, prices)

By Manas Mishra and Uday Sampath Kumar

Nov 21 (Reuters) - Wall Street’s main indexes fell on Thursday after conflicting headlines on U.S.-China trade relations and a row between the world’s top two economies over the Hong Kong protest added to doubts whether a deal could be reached by the end of this year.

President Donald Trump is expected to sign legislation passed by Congress backing protesters in Hong Kong, despite delicate trade talks with Beijing.

“The market is recognizing that this tariff tiff is going to remain in place ... for a very long time because there are just some extraordinary philosophical differences,” said Hugh Anderson, managing director at HighTower Advisors in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Stocks had opened flat after a report that the United States could delay tariffs on Chinese imports even if a deal was not reached by Dec. 15, when tariffs kick in on goods including items such as electronics and Christmas decorations.

All three indexes have hit a series of record highs this month, rallying on optimism around a “phase one” trade deal and a largely better-than-expected earnings season.

At 11:44 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 84.77 points, or 0.30%, at 27,736.32, the S&P 500 was down 9.17 points, or 0.30%, at 3,099.29. The Nasdaq Composite was down 31.09 points, or 0.36%, at 8,495.65.

The tech sector was the biggest drag on the S&P, while energy was one of the two sectors in the positive as oil prices rose on hopes that OPEC and its allies were likely to extend output cuts until mid-2020.

Shares in TD Ameritrade Holding Corp surged 21% after CNBC reported bigger rival Charles Schwab Corp was in talks to buy the discount brokerage. Schwab’s shares gained 8%.

Tiffany & Co gained about 3% after a Reuters report that LVMH persuaded the jewelry chain to allow it to access its books following a raised bid.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.17-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.64-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 10 new 52-week highs and three new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 38 new highs and 68 new lows. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Anil D’Silva)

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