Stocks fall after wild session as conflicting trade news keeps investors guessing

Stocks traded in a wide range on Friday as investors digested different comments and reports on global trade, while Apple shares dented the broader tech sector.

Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 109.91 points lower at 25,270.83 after falling 300 points earlier in the session. At its session high, it was up as much as 198.24 points. The S&P 500 pulled back 0.7 percent to 2,723.06 as Apple’s 6.6 percent decline dragged down other major tech names like Facebook and Alphabet. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropped 1 percent to end the day at 7,356.99.

The major indexes pared some of their losses after President Donald Trump told reporters the U.S. and China are much closer to striking a deal on trade, saying the two countries will have a good deal in place.

Trump’s comments come after Larry Kudlow, his top economic advisor, told CNBC there is no trade plan in the works for China. “There’s no massive movement to deal with China,” Kudlow told CNBC’s “Halftime Report. ” “We have already put out asks to China with respect to trade.”

“We’re doing a normal, routine run-through of things that we’ve already put together and normal preparation,” he said. “We’re not on the cusp of a deal.” When asked whether the president explicitly requested his top advisors to drum up a trade deal, Kudlow said “no.” Kudlow’s comments sent equities to their lows of the day.

Meanwhile, Kudlow’s remarks contradicted a Bloomberg report from earlier on Friday that said Trump had asked officials to prepare a draft for a U.S.-China trade deal.

“It’s still all about trade,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade. “Most of the trading we’re seeing is related to earnings or trade.”

“The recent moves we’re seeing are reflect a return to more historical levels of volatility,” said Kinahan. “I don’t think this will abate.”

Apple fell after the company’s iPhone shipments for last quarter missed estimates. The company also offered light guidance and announced major changes to its reporting structure. These were enough to overshadow stronger-than-expected earnings and revenue.

Source: CNBC