U.S. Stocks Slide After Threat From Trump to Raise Tariffs


Fresh market jitters over the possibility of an escalation in the costly trade war between the U.S. and China pulled stocks broadly lower on Wall Street Monday.

President Donald Trump threatened over the weekend to raise tariffs on goods imported from China. Trump complained that the trade talks between the two countries are moving too slowly.

Stocks slumped early but then gradually recovered a good portion of the losses, a sign that investors’ hopes of a trade deal haven’t dimmed entirely. China remained committed to sending a delegation to talks later this week in Washington despite the threat, and some investors appeared to conclude that the president’s warning was just more high-stakes posturing.

However, after the market closed, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that the tariff increases that Trump threatened to impose on China would go into effect 12:01 a.m. Eastern time Friday. He did say negotiations would resume Thursday in Washington.

The ratcheting up of the trade rhetoric from Washington came after the U.S. and China sent signals in recent months that talks on resolving the dispute were progressing.

U.S. companies with heavy business interests in China bore the brunt of the selling Monday, particularly technology and industrial companies. Banks also fell sharply. Health care stocks rose.

The S&P 500 dropped 13.17 points, or 0.4%, to 2,932.47. At one point, the benchmark index had been down 1.6%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 66.47 points, or 0.3%, to 26,438.48. It had been down as much as 471 points in the first few minutes of trading.

The Nasdaq slid 40.71 points, or 0.5%, to 8,123.29. The Russell 2000 index of small company stocks bucked the trend, adding 0.95 points, or 0.1%, to 1,614.98.

Major indexes in Europe and Asia finished lower.

Many sectors of the market posted declines Monday, including technology, industrial and materials companies, retailers and banks.

Qualcomm, which gets 64.7% of its revenue from China, according to the data provider FactSet, fell 1.2%. Broadcom slid 1.3% and Apple dropped 1.5%.

Chipmakers Micron Technology and Advance Micro Devices each dropped 2.8%.

Industrial behemoth Caterpillar lost 1.7%, while Deere & Co. gave up 4%.

Investors fled to safer holdings. Bond prices rose, sending the 10-year Treasury yield down to 2.50% from 2.53% late Friday.

Chinese indexes plunged. The Shanghai Composite index closed 5.6% lower and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index sank 2.9%. European indexes fell broadly.

Shares of Chinese companies that trade in the U.S. also fell. J.D.com slid 4.5%, while internet search company Baidu dropped 1.5%.

Elsewhere in the market, Boeing fell 1.3% after it disclosed that it did not warn airlines about a faulty safety alert until after one of its planes crashed.

The sensors malfunctioned during an October flight in Indonesia and another in March in Ethiopia, causing software on the plane to push the nose down. Pilots were unable to regain control of either plane and both crashed, killing 346 people.

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