US stocks fell on Thursday as the arrest of a top Chinese technology executive stirred fears of fresh tensions between the United States and China over trade, although Wall Street's main indexes reduced steep losses from earlier in the session.
The arrest comes as investor enthusiasm had already faded following a truce reached over the weekend in talks between the United States and China, which had prompted some hope about resolving differences over trade that have clouded the stock market's outlook this year.
"It clearly gives voice to the bears who are saying, 'There are no real details around this China deal, and we don't have any specific promises by the Chinese,'" Hackett said.
With Thursday's declines, the S&P 500 slipped back into negative territory for 2018.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 458.31 points, or 1.83 percent, to 24,568.76, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 39.35 points, or 1.46 percent, to 2,660.71 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 53.04 points, or 0.74 percent, to 7,105.39.
However, by afternoon the indexes had climbed off their lows from earlier in the day.
Stocks had fallen to near levels seen in October and November, Hackett said.
"The bounce off of that low is encouraging," he said.
Aside from trade, concerns over bond yields and interest rates have pressured the stock market in recent days.
US Treasury yields tumbled, with 10-year yields hitting three-month lows as traders scaled back expectations on the number of rate hikes the Federal Reserve would implement amid weakening economic data and market volatility.
The energy sector slumped 3.3 percent. Oil fell after OPEC and allied exporting countries ended a meeting without announcing a decision to cut crude output.
Losses for the S&P 500 were mitigated by gains for Amazon
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 3.25-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.28-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 4 new 52-week highs and 70 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 8 new highs and 351 new lows.