Stocks fell sharply on Wall Street Monday, knocking nearly 400 points off the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
The benchmark S&P 500 had its worst day in a week as the sell-off put the market deeper into the red for August. The selling was widespread, with technology companies and banks accounting for a big share of the decline.
Investors sought safety in U.S. government bonds, sending their yields tumbling. The price for gold, another traditional safe-haven asset, closed higher.
The costly trade war between the U.S. and China has rattled markets this month. An escalation in tensions between the world’s largest economies has stoked worries that the long-running trade conflict will undercut an already slowing global economy.
The latest wave of anxious selling left the S&P 500 index down 35.56 points, or 1.2%, at 2,883.09. The Dow fell 391 points, or 1.5%, to 25,896.44. The average was briefly down 462 points.
The Nasdaq composite dropped 95.73, or 1.2%, to 7,863.41. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks lost 18.58 points, or 1.2%, to 1,494.46.
The major indexes are down more than 3% for August. Even after this month’s stumble, they are up solidly this year, led by the Nasdaq with a gain of 18.5%. The S&P 500 is up 15%, though it’s down 4.7% from its all-time high set at the end of July.
Anxiety and fear over the U.S.-China trade war continues to hover over the market and has taken stocks on a wild ride in August. The S&P 500 index zoomed up and down last week, ending with its second straight weekly loss.
Traders continued to shift money into bonds Monday, sending bond prices sharply higher. That pulled down the yield on the 10-year Treasury to 1.64% from 1.73% late Friday, a big move. The yield is used as a benchmark for interest rates on mortgages and other consumer loans.
The drop in bond yields weighed on financial sector stocks. Bank of America fell 2.4% and Citigroup gave up 2.7%. Credit card issuer Synchrony Financial slid 3.9% and Capital One Financial dropped 2.3%.
Technology, health care and consumer discretionary sector stocks accounted for much of the market’s decline. Symantec dropped 5.7%, Nektar Therapeutics slumped 11.2% and Tractor Supply fell 4.7%.
Real estate and utilities stocks posted the smallest declines. Traders usually seek the shelter of utilities and bonds when they want a more secure place to put their money because of concerns over economic growth.
Major stock markets outside the U.S. were mixed Monday, with indexes in Europe closed broadly lower while those in Asia ended broadly higher.
Energy futures were mixed. Benchmark crude oil rose 43 cents to settle at $54.93 a barrel. Brent crude oil, the international standard, added 4 cents to close at $58.57 a barrel.
Wholesale gasoline was unchanged at $1.67 per gallon. Heating oil was also unchanged at $1.81 per gallon. Natural gas fell 1 cent to $2.12 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Gold rose $8.70 to $1,505.30 per ounce, silver rose 14 cents to $17.04 per ounce and copper was unchanged at $2.58 per pound.
The dollar fell to 105.27 Japanese yen from 105.57 yen on Friday. The euro strengthened to $1.1219 from $1.1207.