Stocks Skid on Thursday 06/21 16:05
Car makers and technology and industrial companies fell Thursday as
investors focused on the U.S.-China trade dispute, which could reduce company
spending and earnings.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Car makers and technology and industrial companies fell
Thursday as investors focused on the U.S.-China trade dispute, which could
reduce company spending and earnings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped
for the eighth day in a row.
While investors generally don't expect a trade war between the U.S. and
China, they remain sensitive to signs that rising tariffs and trade tensions
will hurt the global economy and reduce corporate profits. This week they've
received some signs that this is happening. On Thursday German automaker
Daimler said the tariffs China plans to put on cars imported from the U.S. will
contribute to a small decline in earnings this year.
The previous day, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the Fed has heard about
businesses holding off on hiring and spending in response to the trade
conflicts. Kate Moore, global equity strategist for BlackRock, said that
investors have been hoping that the Republican-backed corporate tax cut would
encourage companies to hire more workers, boost pay, and expand their
operations, but the uncertainty over tariffs is discouraging them from doing
"There's a fear that rising uncertainty around trade and tariffs is going to
significantly affect investment decisions and hiring decisions, and potentially
take some steam off of what has looked like a very strong expansion," she said.
She added that companies have been reluctant to make major investments since
the financial crisis of 2008-09, and some investors felt the tax cuts would
help change that pattern.
Online retailers skidded and rivals such as department stores rose after the
Supreme Court ruled that states can force more online shoppers to pay sales
tax. Energy companies declined ahead of a meeting where OPEC countries and
other nations are expected to increase oil production. Bond yields fell, and
big dividend companies like real estate investment trusts and utilities made
some of the biggest gains on Wall Street.
The S&P 500 index slid 17.56 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,749.76. The Dow
fell 196.10 points, or 0.8 percent, to 24,461.70. The index has fallen 3.4
percent over the last eight days. Its last losing streak this long was in March
2017. The Nasdaq composite lost 68.56 points, or 0.9 percent, to 7,712.95. The
Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks declined 18.04 points, or 1.1
percent, to 1,688.95. The Nasdaq and Russell 2000 both closed at record highs
Daimler is projecting fewer SUV sales and higher costs for Mercedes-Benz
cars as a result of Chinese tariffs on cars made in the U.S. Those are
scheduled to take effect July 6. The company now says its earnings before
interest and taxes will fall slightly this year after it had forecast a small
increase in earnings. Its stock fell 4.3 percent in Germany.
Online retailers dropped following the Supreme Court ruling. For more than
two decades, companies were not required to collect sales tax on online
purchases that were made in a state where the company did not have a physical
presence, such as a warehouse or office. States argued that those rules
deprived them of billions of dollars in tax revenue, and traditional retailers
said online sellers had an unfair advantage.
Overstock.com lost 7.2 percent to $36.15 and home goods site Wayfair gave up
1.6 percent to $114.28 while Amazon lost 1.1 percent to $1,730.22. Target
gained 1 percent to $76.14 and Nordstrom added 1.8 percent to $52.78.
Energy companies skidded as investors expect OPEC to agree to a production
increase at a meeting on Friday. Greater production reduces oil prices, and
that has weighed on energy stocks in recent weeks. Chevron fell 2.2 percent to
$122.59 and Marathon Oil dropped 5.4 percent to $19.92.
U.S. crude dripped 0.3 percent to $65.54 a barrel in New York and Brent
crude, the international standard for oil prices, lost 2.3 percent to $73.05 a
barrel in London.
Intel fell 2.4 percent to $52.19 after its CEO resigned. The world's largest
chipmaker said CEO Brian Krzanich is stepping down after the company learned he
had a relationship with an employee. Intel said the relationship was
consensual, but violated a policy that bars managers from having relationships
Bond prices climbed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.90
percent from 2.94 percent. That helped stocks that pay big dividends including
utilities and real estate investment trusts.
In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline lost 0.6 percent to $2.01 a
gallon. Heating oil fell 1.8 percent to $2.07 a gallon. Natural gas rose 0.4
percent to $2.98 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Gold shed 0.3 percent to $1,270.50 an ounce. Silver edged up 0.1 percent to
$16.33 an ounce. Copper slid 0.6 percent to $3.02 a pound.
The dollar fell to 109.90 yen from 110.40 yen. The euro rose to $1.1617 from
The German DAX dropped 1.4 percent after Daimler's warning. France's CAC 40
lost 1 percent and Britain's FTSE 100 gave up 0.9 percent after its central
bank indicated it could raise rates this summer.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index finished up 0.6 percent and the Kospi in
South Korea dropped 1 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.4 percent.