Stocks stumble amid trade tensions, weak economic data

Technology companies led a broad slide for stocks on Wall Street Monday, handing the market a downbeat start to the month after it notched strong gains in November. Industrial, communication services, and financial stocks also accounted for a big share of the sell-off. Energy stocks notched the biggest gain, aided by a 1.4 percent increase in the price of US crude oil. Trade tensions flared with China’s diplomatic retaliation for US support of protesters in Hong Kong, putting investors in a selling mood. The selling accelerated after the US government issued weak manufacturing and construction spending reports. Wall Street has been hoping that the world’s two biggest economies can make progress toward at least stalling new tariffs scheduled for Dec. 15 on $160 billion worth of Chinese products, including smartphones and laptops. The latest friction between Washington and Beijing could hamper that progress. “The market is getting increasingly anxious that it’s possible, perhaps not likely, that the tariffs are imposed on Dec. 15, thus escalating the tariff trade war,’’ said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial. The S&P; 500 index fell 27.11 points, or 0.9 percent, to 3,113.87. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 268.37 points, or 1 percent, to 27,783.04. The Nasdaq lost 97.48 points, or 1.1 percent, to 8,567.99. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 16.92 points, or 1 percent, to 1,607.58. Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.82 percent from 1.77 percent late Friday. The […]

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