Car makers and technology and industrial companies fell Thursday as investors focused on the U.S.-China trade dispute, which could reduce company spending and earnings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped for the eighth day in a row.
While investors generally don’t expect a trade war between the U.S. and China, they remain sensitive to signs that rising tariffs and trade tensions will hurt the global economy and reduce corporate profits. This week they’ve received some signs that this is happening. On Thursday German automaker Daimler said the tariffs China plans to put on cars imported from the U.S. will contribute to a small decline in earnings this year.
Online retailers skidded and rivals such as department stores rose after the Supreme Court ruled that states can force more online shoppers to pay sales tax. Energy companies declined ahead of a meeting where OPEC countries and other nations are expected to increase oil production. Bond yields fell, and big dividend payers like real estate investment trusts and utilities made some of the biggest gains on Wall Street.
The S&P 500 index slid 17.56 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,749.76. The Dow fell 196.10 points, or 0.8 percent, to 24,461.70. The index has fallen 3.4 percent over the last eight days. Its last losing streak this long was in March 2017. The Nasdaq composite lost 68.56 points, or 0.9 percent, to 7,712.95. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks declined 18.04 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,688.95. The Nasdaq and Russell 2000 both closed at record highs Wednesday.
Overstock.com lost 7.2 percent to $36.15 and home goods site Wayfair gave up 1.6 percent to $114.28 while Amazon lost 1.1 percent to $1,730.22. Target gained 1 percent to $76.14 and Nordstrom added 1.8 percent to $52.78.
Energy companies skidded as investors expect OPEC to agree to a production increase at a meeting on Friday. Greater production reduces oil prices, and that has weighed on energy stocks in recent weeks. Chevron fell 2.2 percent to $122.59 and Marathon Oil dropped 5.4 percent to $19.92.
U.S. crude dropped 0.3 percent to $65.54 a barrel in New York and Brent crude, the international standard for oil prices, lost 2.3 percent to $73.05 a barrel in London.
Intel fell 2.4 percent to $52.19 after its CEO resigned. The world’s largest chipmaker said CEO Brian Krzanich is stepping down.
Bond prices climbed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.90 percent from 2.94 percent. That helped stocks that pay big dividends including utilities and real estate investment trusts.
In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline lost 0.6 percent to $2.01 a gallon. Heating oil fell 1.8 percent to $2.07 a gallon. Natural gas rose 0.4 percent to $2.98 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Gold shed 0.3 percent to $1,270.50 an ounce. Silver edged up 0.1 percent to $16.33 an ounce. Copper slid 0.6 percent to $3.02 a pound.
The dollar fell to 109.90 yen from 110.40 yen. The euro rose to $1.1617 from $1.1587.
The German DAX dropped 1.4 percent after Daimler’s warning. France’s CAC 40 lost 1 percent and Britain’s FTSE 100 gave up 0.9 percent after its central bank indicated it could raise rates this summer.