US STOCKS-Wall St flat amid Sino-U.S. tensions, economic uncertainty

Reuters

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    * Indexes set for weekly gain of 2.8% to 3.2%
    * Alibaba slips despite upbeat earnings report
    * KKR rises on deal with India's Reliance Industries 
    * Dow off 0.41%, S&P down 0.11%, Nasdaq up 0.16%

 (Adds details, comments, updates prices)
    By Ambar Warrick
    May 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes moved in a flat-to-low
range on Friday as investors gauged Sino-U.S. tensions amid
continued uncertainty over 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 raised concerns over Washington and Beijing
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 between 2.8% and
3.1% for the week on optimism over a vaccine and the easing of
virus-related curbs. 
    Fears of a renewed trade war had paused Wall Street's April
rally and injected a degree of caution, keeping them in a tight
range. 
    "It's being treated as the beginning of some tensions that
are likely to get worse before they get better," said Art Hogan,
chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.
    "The market will react in an evidence-based way. It's not
racing to any conclusions on how bad these tensions get." 
    At 1:13 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI  was
down 100.93 points, or 0.41%, at 24,373.19, the S&P 500  .SPX 
was down 3.26 points, or 0.11%, at 2,945.25. The Nasdaq
Composite  .IXIC  was up 15.28 points, or 0.16%, at 9,300.16.
    Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sub-indexes were trading
lower, led by energy  .SPNY  as oil prices sank 5%.  O/R 
    Real Estate and utilities were up in some defensive plays,
while losses were limited in the consumer staples sector. 
    Mixed retail earnings from Walmart Inc  WMT.N , Best Buy Co
Inc  BBY.N  and Home Depot Inc  HD.N  earlier this week showed
online shopping gaining traction due to the stay-at-home orders,
a trend that could damage brick-and-mortar players.
    On Friday, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group  BABA.N 
reported better-than-expected quarterly profit, but its shares
slipped 5.7%. Smaller rival Pinduoduo Inc's U.S.-listed shares
 PDD.O  gained 11% after posting upbeat earnings report.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2D43AH urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2D437C
    KKR & Co  KKR.N  rose 1.1% after India's Reliance Industries
 RELI.NS  said the private equity firm would buy 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  rose 12%
after saying it expects more demand for its cloud services.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2D341Q
    Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.58-to-1 ratio
on the NYSE and for a 1.27-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
    The S&P index recorded five new 52-week highs and no new
low, while the Nasdaq recorded 49 new highs and seven new lows. 

 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru and Pawel Goraj in
Gdansk; Editing by Sagarika Jaisinghani and Arun Koyyur)
 ((Ambar.Warrick@thomsonreuters.com; +91-80-6182-2837; Reuters
Messaging: ambar.warrick.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net;
Twitter: @AmbarWarrick))

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