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Stocks slip on Wall Street over new trade war concerns

Stocks fell in afternoon trading on Wall Street Wednesday after a resolution by the Senate added a potential new hurdle to the latest push for a trade deal with China.

The Senate approved a measure to support human rights in Hong Kong following months of anti-government protests. China condemned the move and threatened “strong countermeasures.”

Negotiations between the U.S. and China are already on seemingly shaky ground. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump said he was prepared to raise tariffs on Chinese exports if the nations can’t reach an agreement on trade. Investors are hoping the nations can reach a deal before new tariffs become effective in December and further threaten economic growth.

Specialist Dilip Patel watches the screens at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. Stocks are opening slightly lower on Wall Street led by declines in technology and communications companies. (AP PhotoRichard Drew)

Communications and technology companies were among the biggest losers. AT&T fell 3.3% and HP fell 1.7%.

Banks also slipped as bond yields fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury slid to 1.76% from 1.78% late Tuesday.

Target and Lowe’s both made sharp gains after reporting encouraging earnings and forecasts.

Trader Edward Curran works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. Stocks are opening slightly lower on Wall Street led by declines in technology and communications companies. (AP PhotoRichard Drew)

Energy companies held up better than the rest of the market as oil prices jumped. ConocoPhillips rose 3.5%.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 0.2% as of 12:05 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 88 points, or 0.3%, to 27,845. The Nasdaq fell 0.2%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks made.

CRACK SHOT: Target surged 13% after handily beating Wall Street’s third-quarter earnings estimates. The retailer also raised its profit forecast for the year.

Traders John Doyle, left, and Ronald Madarasz work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. Stocks are opening slightly lower on Wall Street led by declines in technology and communications companies. (AP PhotoRichard Drew)

PROFIT REPAIR: Lowe’s rose 5.2% after raising its profit forecast for the year following a solid third quarter. The home improvement retailer has been working to improve profit and sales in an effort to better compete with rival Home Depot.

Home Depot, which cut its profit forecast after reporting disappointing earnings on Tuesday, fell 1%.

OVERSEAS: European and Asian markets moved lower. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.6% after customs data showed the country’s exports fell 9.2% in October from a year earlier, with sharp declines in shipments to China, South Korea and the U.S.

Trader Michael Milano works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. Stocks are opening slightly lower on Wall Street led by declines in technology and communications companies. (AP PhotoRichard Drew)

Trader Gregory Rowe works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. Stocks are opening slightly lower on Wall Street led by declines in technology and communications companies. (AP PhotoRichard Drew)

Specialist Anthony Rinaldi, left, and trader Michael Urkonis work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. Stocks are opening slightly lower on Wall Street led by declines in technology and communications companies. (AP PhotoRichard Drew)

Trader Thomas Lee, center, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. Stocks are opening slightly lower on Wall Street led by declines in technology and communications companies. (AP PhotoRichard Drew)

Traders Andrew Silverman, left, and Robert Charmak work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. Stocks are opening slightly lower on Wall Street led by declines in technology and communications companies. (AP PhotoRichard Drew)