Wall Street closed out a volatile week with losses Friday as investors worried that upcoming trade talks aimed at resolving the costly trade war between Washington and Beijing could be in trouble.
The selling, which erased modest early gains for the market, snapped a three-week win streak for the S&P 500. The benchmark index is still up 2.2% for September.
The afternoon market slide came as investors reacted to published reports indicating Chinese officials canceled a planned trip to farms in Montana and Nebraska and would be returning to China.
President Donald Trump told reporters Friday that he wants a complete deal with China and won't accept anything less.
"This is why China has been reluctant to continue to negotiate with the Trump administration, because as soon as it looks like we're moving toward some sort of constructive talks, there is a change in direction and it seems like a lot of head fakes," said Ben Phillips, chief investment officer at EventShares.
The S&P 500 fell 14.72 points, or 0.5%, to 2,992.07. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 159.72 points, or 0.6%, to 26,935.07. The index had been up about 100 points then swung as low as 168 points. The Nasdaq lost 65.20 points, or 0.8%, to 8,117.67, weighed down by declining technology sector stocks. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks slid 1.72 points, or 0.1%, to 1,559.76.