Major stock indexes have all turned lower at midday Friday

U.S. stocks on Friday turned firmly lower in afternoon trade, knocked down after reports that a China trade delegate was cancelling a planned trip to Montana farms. A representative for the confirmed that the Chinese delegation intended to visit Montana farmland as a part of continuing discussions with the U.S. on trade, but China changed travel plans and would be leaving without a stop in Montana. "This morning, we received word that they would no longer be visiting Montana but would instead, be returning to China sooner than originally planned," said Nicole Griffin Rolf, director of national affairs at the MFBF. The visit by the Chinese delegation had been viewed as reflecting a thaw in a yearlong Sino-American tariff dispute. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.4% at 26,991, the S&P 500 index declined 0.4% to 2,994, while the Nasdaq Composite Index was 0.9% lower at 8,112. The technology sector and consumer-discretionary shares were hit hardest in the fall. All three main stock indexes were trading near Friday lows on the reports. The visits and talks between lower-level delegates from Beijing and Washington were expected to be a prelude to higher-level negotiations in early October. –Robert Schroeder contributed to this article

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