Stocks on Wall Street edged lower Thursday amid conflicting signals on U.S.-China trade relations.
A Hong Kong daily reported hopes remain for a watered-down deal even after Beijing condemned the passage of U.S. legislation that backs protesters in Hong Kong.
That added to uncertainty over the timing of a "phase one" deal.
The Dow and S&P fell two-tenths percent, down for a third straight day.
Thomson Reuters Stocks Buzz analyst Terence Gabriel: SOUNDBITE: THOMSON REUTERS STOCKS BUZZ ANALYST TERENCE GABRIEL (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Fed's on hold.
Earnings season for the third quarter is really sort of winding down.
The market has made new highs in terms of some of these large cap indices and broad market averages.
So the question is here, what is going to play out on the trade front?" Macy's shares fell.
Just as rival Kohl's did on Wednesday, the department store operator cut its 2019 profit outlook.
By contrast, Nordstrom shares rose 10% after the bell.
The upscale department store chain raised the lower end of its profit forecast.
TD Ameritrade shares jumped.
CNBC reports Charles Schwab is in talks to buy its smaller discount brokerage rival.
Schwab shares also rose.
Shares of Tiffany gained ground.
Sources say LVMH persuaded the American jewelry retailer to let it see its books after the French luxury group raised its bid to $16 billion.