Tariff Worries Sends Stocks Lower 03/22 10:52
Stocks are falling sharply and bond prices are climbing as investors fear
that trade tensions will spike between the U.S. and China.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are falling sharply and bond prices are climbing as
investors fear that trade tensions will spike between the U.S. and China. The
Trump administration is expected to announce hefty trade sanctions on China
later Thursday, while the government in Beijing said it will defend itself.
Industrial and technology companies took some of the worst losses while banks
dipped along with interest rates. Stock indexes in Europe took sharp losses as
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index skidded 47 points, or 1.7 percent, to 2,664
as of 11:40 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average sank 470
points, or 1.9 percent, to 24,281. The Nasdaq composite gave up 142 points, or
2 percent, to 7,202. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks lost 21
points, or 1.4 percent, to 1,557.
TRADE WORRIES: The administration is expected to announce restrictions on
trade with China, including tariffs on as much as $60 billion worth of Chinese
products as well as potential restrictions on Chinese investment. China's
Commerce Ministry said the country will defend its interests. Earlier this
month the Trump administration ordered tariffs on imported steel and aluminum
and stocks dropped as investors worried about the possibility of tougher
restrictions on international trade and smaller profits for corporations. Their
fears eased when the administration said some countries will be exempt from the
Industrial companies have also been hit by worries about trade because they
face a combination of higher prices for imported metals that they use to make
their machinery and potential restrictions on sales overseas. On Thursday
construction equipment maker Caterpillar fell $5.30, or 3.4 percent, to $150.50
and aerospace company Boeing slid $12.16, or 3.6 percent, to $324.94.
Investors also sold some of the market's biggest winners. Among technology
companies, Facebook fell $3.32, or 2 percent, to $166.07 and Alphabet, Google's
parent company, fell $34.73, or 3.2 percent, to $1,059.27. Amazon slid $31.44,
or 2 percent, to $1,550.42.
OVERSEAS REACTION: Germany's DAX lost 2 percent and the CAC 40 in France
shed 2 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 dropped 1.5 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng
dropped 1.1 percent. The Nikkei 225 in Japan index gained 1 percent and the
South Korean Kospi added 0.4 percent.
BONDS: Bond prices climbed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped
to 2.80 percent from 2.88 percent late Wednesday. When yields and interest rate
decrease, banks make smaller profits on loans. Bank of America lost $1.01, or
3.2 percent, to $30.86 and JPMorgan Chase gave up $2.75, or 2.4 percent, to
Utility companies moved higher. When bond yields decline, investors often
buy utilities, real estate investment trusts, and other stocks that pay big
The decline in rates comes a day after the Federal Reserve raised interest
rates and said the U.S. economy and the job market continued to improve over
the last two months. The Fed expects to raise rates three times this year,
although some investors think a fourth increase is possible. The Fed also said
it might raise rates three more times next year instead of two.
ABBVIE TUMBLES: AbbVie plunged after it reported disappointing results from
a study of its cancer therapy Rova-T. AbbVie canceled its plans to ask for
faster approval of Rova-T as a treatment for small cell lung cancer, but other
studies are continuing. AbbVie shed $15.48, or 13.8 percent, to $96.97. Other
health care stocks also sank. Johnson & Johnson fell $2.37, or 1.8 percent, to
$128.81 and Amgen declined $3.81, or 2.1 percent, to $177.78
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude shed 78 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $64.38 a
barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 64
cents to $68.43 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 105.41 yen from 106.10 yen. The euro rose to
$1.2307 from $1.2332.