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Stocks - Wall Street Cautious on Trade, Outweigh Bank Earnings

Investing.com – Wall Street was slightly lower on Wednesday as upbeat earnings from Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) were offset by concerns that a U.S. bill favoring Hong Kong protests could stoke fresh trade war retaliation from China.

The Dow fell 21 points or 0.1% by 9:50 AM ET (13:50 GMT), while the S&P 500 was down 5 points or 0.2% and the Nasdaq composite lost 23 points or 0.3%.

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) gained 2.8% after its underlying third-quarter profit beat estimates, while revenue was in line. The results followed mixed earnings from other Wall Street banks and healthcare giants Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH).

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday sympathetic to pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, which sparked a warning from China of possible retaliation. The Senate has to approve the bill for it to be made law.

The bill may jeopardize a tentative truce between the U.S. and China on trade. Last week, President Donald Trump announced a partial trade deal, but it contained few visible concrete details, and relations between the two largest economies in the world remain tense.

United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL) gained 1.1% after raising its full-year outlook, while Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) was up 0.8% and Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) jumped 2.4%.

Abbott Labs (NYSE:ABT) was down 2% after it trimmed its profit guidance for the year. MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM) dipped 1.4% after reports that it is selling its Bellagio and Circus Circus resorts in separate deals for a total of about $5 billion.

In commodities, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was down 0.1% to 97.877 and gold futures gained 0.4% to $1,488.85 a troy ounce. Crude oil futures rose 0.4% to $52.99 a barrel.

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