New York, May 22: Wall Street stocks dipped early Wednesday amid lingering unease over the US-China trade conflict and as chip maker Qualcomm took a beating after a court ruled it violated antitrust law.
About 15 minutes into trading, all three major indexes had shed 0.3 percent, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down to 25,788.07.
The broad-based S&P 500 dipped to 2,855.16, and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index was at 7,765.29.
Stocks have been pressured over the last two weeks as Beijing and Washington struck out with fresh tariff measures and drifted further from a trade agreement that had earlier appeared to be within striking distance.
The early declines also come ahead of Fed minutes later Wednesday from the May 1 meeting when the US central bank disappointed some investors by suggesting it saw no need to cut interest rates soon.
Retail giant Target, a smaller big-box rival to behemoth Walmart, surged 7.0 percent after reporting higher first-quarter earnings on an impressive 4.8 percent jump on comparable store sales.
But other retailers fell badly after results, with Nordstrom and Lowe's both losing more than nine percent and Urban Outfitters slumping 6.5 percent.
Retailers are worried about US President Donald Trump's latest threat to impose tariffs on a much broader slate of consumer goods from China. That adds to pressure as chains step up investment on delivery services and other aspects of “omnichannel” sales.
Shares of chip giant Qualcomm plummeted 10.1 percent after a US court ruled it “strangled competition” for years at the expense of consumers and device makers. The company said it will seek an expedited appeal of the ruling.