Stocks open mixed ahead of Trump briefing on China

Stocks open mixed ahead of Trump briefing on China
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Stocks opened with mixed results Friday as investors weighed what to expect from President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE’s planned press conference on U.S.-China relations.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 120 points, dropping roughly 0.5 percent as the market opened Friday. The S&P 500 index fell 0.2 percent, but the Nasdaq composite rose 0.2 percent.

Stocks were on track for another day of solid gains Thursday amid a strong week until Trump announced he would hold a press briefing Friday on the growing tensions between the U.S. and China. The Trump administration has pledged to punish China for pushing a law that would severely encroach on Hong Kong’s autonomy from the Chinese government and derail the “One Country, Two Systems” approach that allowed Hong Kong to operate beyond the mainland judicial system.

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Trump and top White House officials have also promised retribution against China over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak without specifying what form that would take. The president’s planned press conference may include details on how the administration plans to respond.

Investors and economists fear that growing tensions between the U.S. and China could hinder the global response to the coronavirus pandemic and the severe economic downturn it caused.

Trump and Republican lawmakers have escalated their anti-China rhetoric amid rising COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. and Beijing’s efforts to subject Hong Kong to its will. The campaign comes as the president faces increasing criticism for his own handling of the pandemic, but also amid a bipartisan push to impose harsher sanctions on China.