By April Joyner
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The benchmark S&P 500 index fell for a third straight day on Friday as scepticism over the United States and China reaching a trade deal before a looming deadline added to concerns over slowing global growth.
As the session wore on, Wall Street's major indexes regained lost ground, with the Nasdaq little changed. Even so, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average remained firmly in negative territory as investors took profits from recently high-flying stocks.
Shares of S&P 500 energy companies, one of the top-performing sectors so far this year, were down 1.2 percent. Financial shares, also strong performers of late, were the biggest drag among the S&P 500's major sectors, dropping 0.8 percent as U.S. 10-year Treasury yields fell.
"Right now, the focus really is on China," said Mark Otto, global markets commentator for GTS in New York. "The market doesn't like uncertainty, and it seems to be in abundance at this particular time. So the market's tone has gone from cautiously optimistic to speculative."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 151.29 points, or 0.6 percent, to 25,018.24, the S&P 500 lost 6.2 points, or 0.23 percent, to 2,699.85 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.66 points, or 0.04 percent, to 7,285.70.
The U.S. corporate earnings outlook has also taken a negative turn. Analysts now expect current-quarter profit to dip 0.1 percent from the year before, not grow the 5.3 percent estimated at the start of the year.
Still, the S&P 500 has risen more than 14 percent from 20-month lows in December, spurred by a dovish Federal Reserve and largely positive fourth-quarter earnings.
Of the S&P 500 companies that have reported quarterly results, 71.5 percent have beaten profit estimates, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Mattel Inc shares gained 21.6 percent after the toymaker posted a surprise quarterly profit as it benefited from a makeover of its iconic Barbie doll.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.41-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.10-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.
The S&P 500 had 17 new 52-week highs and two new lows; the Nasdaq Composite had 30 new highs and 31 new lows.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)