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Wall Street slides ahead of Trump tariff announcement

Posted by: Admin | Posted on: September 17th, 2018 | 0 Comments

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks fell on Monday, led by declines in technology and consumer discretionary stocks as investors looked to President Donald Trump’s announcement regarding tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports.

All three major U.S. indexes were lower, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq posting its biggest percentage loss since late July.

Wall Street extended its losses ahead of the tariff announcement after Trump asserted his belief that the United States’ trade deficit with China was too big, stating “we can’t do that anymore.”

Earlier, China vowed that it will not play defense in the escalating trade dispute, adding further fuel to tensions as a new list of items subject to tariffs, including technology and consumer goods, was anticipated from Washington.

“This is the sixth or seventh time we talked about this particular round of tariffs,” said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago. “As long as Trump is comfortable raising tariffs, he believes he’s winning.”

Consumer discretionary .SPLRCD and technology .SPLRCT were the biggest percentage losers on the SP 500, falling 1.3 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively. (AMZN.O) led consumer discretionary stocks lower, falling 3.2 percent.

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) has said the moves could hit a “wide range” of its products. The iPhone maker’s shares were down 2.7 percent, providing the biggest drag on the Dow, despite earlier reports that the United States would spare some of its products in the latest round of tariff actions.

All of the so-called FAANG group of momentum stocks closed down between 1.0 percent and 3.9 percent. Other FAANG stocks include Netflix (NFLX.O), Facebook (FB.O) and Google-parent Alphabet (GOOGL.O).

“(The FAANG stocks have) had great runs; the fact that they’d come off a little bit really doesn’t detract from the fact that they’ve put in some very good performance numbers this year,” Nolte said. But he noted “investors might be slowly looking outside of tech for the next opportunity.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 92.55 points, or 0.35 percent, to 26,062.12, the SP 500 .SPX lost 16.18 points, or 0.56 percent, to 2,888.8 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 114.25 points, or 1.43 percent, to 7,895.79.

The SP 500’s slide was concentrated. Of the 11 major sectors in the index, only four ended the session in negative territory.

The CBOE Volatility index .VIX, a gauge of investor anxiety, rose 1.54 points, its first increase in six sessions.

Retailers, including Macy’s Inc (M.N) and Kohls Corp (KSS.N), dropped, helping pull the SP 500 retailers index .SPXRT 2.1 percent lower.

Twitter (TWTR.N) fell 4.2 percent, the biggest percentage loser in the SP 500 technology index, after brokerage MoffettNathanson flagged concerns over rising expenses.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.46-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.12-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The SP 500 posted 34 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 51 new highs and 90 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 6.21 billion shares, compared with the 6.14 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

Reporting by Stephen Culp; Editing by Dan Grebler

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