US STOCKS-Wall Street mixed as China-U.S. tensions weigh

Reuters

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    * Alibaba slips despite upbeat earnings report
    * KKR rises on deal with India's Reliance Industries 
    * Indexes: Dow -0.11%, S&P 500 +0.14%, Nasdaq +0.36%      

 (Updates with afternoon trading)
    By Noel Randewich
    May 22 (Reuters) - Wall Street was mixed on Friday in a
mostly tame finish to a week of strong gains, as investors
gauged China-U.S. tensions and amid ongoing uncertainty about
the pace of economic recovery from the coronavirus.
    President Donald Trump's warning on Thursday that the U.S.
would react strongly to China's plan for a national security law
in Hong Kong has raised concerns over Washington and Beijing's
possibly reneging on their Phase 1 trade deal.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2D40JE
    The rhetoric knocked Wall Street off multi-month highs,
although the main indexes were still set to add over 2% for the
week, fueled by optimism about an eventual coronavirus vaccine
and the easing of virus-related curbs. 
    "The biggest thing out there today is the Hong Kong/China
saber rattling," said Eric Freedman, chief investment officer at
U.S. Bank Wealth Management. "We still think COVID-19 concerns
are in the driver's seat, but we could see U.S.-China relations
move back into the front seat."
    The Nasdaq index is down about 5% from its Feb. 19 record
high, helped in recent weeks by gains in Microsoft  MSFT.O ,
Amazon  AMZN.O  and other heavyweight companies seen coming out
of the economic downturn stronger than their smaller rivals.
    At 2:17 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI  was
down 0.11% at 24,446.31 points, while the S&P 500  .SPX  gained
0.14% to 2,952.58. The Nasdaq Composite  .IXIC  added 0.36% to
9,318.50.
    Six of the 11 major S&P 500 sector indexes were lower, with
energy  .SPNY  dropping more than 1% as oil prices sank 5%.
 O/R 
    Mixed earnings from retailers Walmart Inc  WMT.N , Best Buy
Co Inc  BBY.N  and Home Depot Inc  HD.N  earlier this week
showed online shopping gaining traction with the lockdown
orders, a trend that could damage brick-and-mortar players
already feeling pressure from internet rivals.
    On Friday, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group  BABA.N 
reported better-than-expected quarterly profit, but its shares
tumbled almost 6%. Smaller rival Pinduoduo Inc's U.S.-listed
shares  PDD.O  surged 11% after the company posted upbeat
results.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2D43B7 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2D437C
    Nvidia  NVDA.O  rose 2.8% after forecasting strong quarterly
revenue as demand surges for its data center chips.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2D33Y8
    KKR & Co  KKR.N  rose 0.9% after India's Reliance Industries
 RELI.NS  said the private equity firm would buy a 2.3% stake in
its digital unit for 113.67 billion rupees ($1.50 billion).
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2D40OL
    Data analytics software maker Splunk Inc  SPLK.O  jumped 12%
after it said it expects more demand for its cloud services.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2D341Q
    Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a
1.11-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.03-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
    The S&P 500 posted five new 52-week highs and no new lows;
the Nasdaq Composite recorded 52 new highs and eight new lows.

 (Reporting by Noel Randewich in Oakland, California; Additional
reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru and Pawel Goraj in
Gdansk; Editing by Leslie Adler)
 ((noel.randewich@tr.com; (415) 677 2542; Reuters Messaging:
Twitter: @randewich))

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