U.S. Stocks Take Further Losses As Turkey Worries Continue

NEW YORK (AP) -

Stocks fell further on Wall Street Monday as Turkey’s central bank was unable to stop a steep plunge in that nation’s currency. That’s helping to push the dollar higher, which hurts big U.S. exporters.

Stocks were coming off their worst losses in a month as investors worried about financial and economic upheaval in Turkey and the possibility it will spread to other countries. Asian markets fell overnight, while European markets were slightly lower.

On Monday Turkey’s central bank announced measures to help that country’s banks, but the Turkish lira and Turkey’s stock market continued to slide.

The lira has been tumbling as investors question whether the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan can cope with problems including the weakening currency and a diplomatic spat with Washington that has resulted in higher U.S. tariffs.

Erdogan has ruled out the possibility of higher interest rates, which can slow economic growth, but independent analysts say higher rates are urgently needed to stabilize the country’s currency.

Investors also backed away from Argentina’s stock market. The Argentinian peso sank to an all-time low amid investor caution and a local corruption scandal involving former government officials.

While Turkey and Argentina face different political situations, the currencies of both have tumbled to all-time lows against the dollar, partly because rising U.S. interest rates lure investors to take money out of their markets and move it to the U.S.

The U.S. dollar is the strongest it’s been in more than a year, which could eventually create problems for U.S. companies that make a lot of sales overseas.

The S&P 500 index lost 11.35 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,821.93 after a drop of 0.7 percent Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 125.44 points, or 0.5 percent, to 25,187.70.

Energy and industrial companies and basic materials companies took some of the worst losses. Technology companies held up better.

The Nasdaq composite fell 19.40 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,819.71. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks sank 11.49 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,675.32.

In corporate news, German conglomerate Bayer took a dive after a U.S. jury ruled against its Monsanto unit Friday and awarded $289 million to a former school groundskeeper who said that exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer caused cancer. Monsanto said government agencies and hundreds of studies have concluded Roundup is safe.

Trading in Germany, Bayer tumbled 10.3 percent.

U.S. crude oil fell 0.6 percent to $67.20 a barrel in New York. Brent crude lost 0.3 percent to $72.61 a barrel in London.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline dipped 1.2 percent to $2.01 a gallon. Heating oil lost 0.1 percent to $2.14 a gallon. Natural gas slid 0.5 percent to $2.93 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold dropped 1.6 percent to $1,198.90 an ounce, its lowest price since January 2017. Silver fell 2 percent to $14.98 an ounce. Copper dipped 0.4 percent to $2.73 a pound.

Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note stayed at 2.88 percent.

The dollar rose to 110.69 yen from 110.64 yen. The euro dipped to $1.1394 from $1.1398.