Traders wearing masks work, on the first day of in person trading since the closure during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, US on May 26, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)

S&P 500 up in choppy action after Trump comments on China

Wall Street's main indexes fell on Friday as investors were on edge ahead of a U.S. response to China's national security law on Hong Kong that threatens to take the shine off another month of strong gains for the stock market.

REUTERS: The S&P 500 was up in late, choppy trading Friday after President Donald Trump made comments on China that appeared less worrisome for the U.S. economy than investors apparently had feared.

Stocks initially extended losses after Trump said China broke its word on ensuring the autonomy of Hong Kong, the former British colony, and said the United States is terminating its relationship with the World Health Organization, something he had threatened to do earlier this month.

"He began speaking in a very tough tone. The market was worried he was going to announce something substantial, something detrimental to the U.S. economy. Then as he spoke it became clear the actions being taken were not going to be as dramatic as originally feared," said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at Independent Advisor Alliance in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Increased tensions between the United States and China are taking some shine off the market as it was about to wrap up another month of strong gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 3.99 points, or 0.02per cent, to 25,404.63, the S&P 500 gained 8.35 points, or 0.28per cent, to 3,038.08, and the Nasdaq Composite added 85.58 points, or 0.91per cent, to 9,454.57.

The S&P 500 opened weaker on Friday amid the concerns over the U.S.-China tensions.

Despite worsening relations between the world's two largest economies, expectations of a quick economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic have driven the S&P 500 up more than 30per cent from its March lows.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler)