Stocks give up a gain on fears China tensions may escalate

Stocks gave up an early rally and ended slightly lower Thursday as traders feared that tensions with China could escalate again.

The S&P 500 had been up 1.1% before sinking in the last hour after President Donald Trump said he would hold a news conference on China Friday. The announcement came after China’s legislature endorsed a national security law for Hong Kong that has strained relations with the U.S. and prompted new protests.

The S&P 500 had been on track for its fourth straight gain, which would have been its longest winning streak since February, before the coronavirus lockdowns began.

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