US STOCKS-Wall Street drops after China cancels visit to Montana farmland

Reuters

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    * China delegates scrap U.S. farm visit, indexes fall
    * Trade-sensitive tech sector drops
    * Netflix drags after CEO comments
    * Indexes: Dow -0.22%, S&P 500 -0.20%, Nasdaq -0.57%      

 (Updates to midday)
    By Noel Randewich
    Sept 20 (Reuters) - Wall Street dropped on Friday after a
Chinese agriculture delegation canceled a planned visit to
Montana next week, dampening optimism about U.S.-China trade
talks.
    The delegates, who had been set to visit U.S. farm states, 
will return to China sooner than originally scheduled, the
Montana Farm Bureau said, pushing the major indexes into
negative territory.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N26B13K
    The cancellation came as trade talks were held in Washington
and U.S. President Donald Trump said he wanted a complete trade
deal with the Asian nation, not just an agreement for China to
buy more U.S. agricultural goods.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N26B12B
    For months, Wall Street has bounced up and down in reaction
to often conflicting signs of improvement and deterioration in
U.S.-China trade talks, often based on comments or tweets from
Trump, a cycle that many investors are becoming accustomed to.
    "In this case, it's a bit more concerning because its China
making the decision, rather than Trump," said Willie Delwiche,
markets strategist at Baird, in Milwaukee.
    The most recent bout of trade optimism in recent weeks
helped elevate the S&P 500  .SPX  to just shy of its all-time
high hit in July. 
    Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower with the
tariff-sensitive S&P 500 information technology index  .SPLRCT 
declining the most, down 0.7%. The Philadelphia chip index
 .SOX  fell 1.2%.
    At 2:45 pm ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI  was
down 0.22% at 27,034.27 points, while the S&P 500  .SPX  lost
0.20% to 3,000.78.
    The Nasdaq Composite  .IXIC  dropped 0.57% to 8,136.16.
    Before news of the farm visit cancellation broke, the S&P
500 and Dow Industrials were in positive territory, supported by
gains in healthcare stocks  .SPXHC .
    Netflix tumbled 6.2% after CEO Reed Hastings made comments
underscoring growing costs and rising competition from Walt
Disney Co  DIS.N , Apple Inc  AAPL.O  and other video streaming
services.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N26B0VB  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N26B2MQ
    Adding to Netflix's woes, Evercore ISI said recent data
painted an uncertain picture of the company's international
subscriber growth.
    The S&P 500 healthcare index  .SPXHC , which has been the
worst performing S&P sector this year, clocked the biggest gain
among the 11 major sectors, up 0.7%
    Merck & Co  MRK.N  gained 1.8% after the company's drugs
Pifeltro and Delstrigo received FDA approval for use in certain
adult patients with HIV-1 who are "virally suppressed."
    Roku Inc  ROKU.O  slumped 18.7% after Pivotal Research
started coverage of its shares with a "sell" rating. 
    Xilinx Inc  XLNX.O  dropped 6.9% after Chief Financial
Officer Lorenzo Flores said he would step down, prompting Bank
of America Merrill to downgrade the chipmaker to "neutral."
    Markets may be volatile toward the end of the session due to
"quadruple witching," where investors unwind positions in
futures and options contracts before they expire.
    Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a
1.14-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.16-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
    The S&P 500 posted 21 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the
Nasdaq Composite recorded 30 new highs and 38 new lows.  


 (Additional reporting by Ambar Warrick and Medha Singh in
Bengaluru; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)
 ((noel.randewich@tr.com; Twitter handle: @randewich  (415) 677
2542; Reuters Messaging:
noel.randewich.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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