U.S. stocks moved broadly lower in early trading Monday as investors opened the week heading for safety amid heightened anxiety over the U.S.-China trade war.
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The early losses come amid a mostly quiet day on Wall Street as the latest round of corporate earnings nears its end. But, investors are coming off of a week of wild swings that ended in yet another loss because of mounting escalations in the long-running trade dispute between the U.S. and China.
Technology companies and banks bore the brunt of the selling in the early going. Chipmaker Qualcomm fell 1.2%.
Bank of America, Citigroup, and credit card companies including Visa all fell broadly as bond yields dipped. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury fell to 1.68% from 1.73% late Friday. Financial companies, such as banks, rely on higher yields to charge more interest on loans.
Facebook fell 1.4% and Google parent Alphabet fell 1.2% to lead communication stocks lower.
Utilities shifted between small gains and losses and were holding up better than most sectors. Investors 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.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 0.8% as of 10:10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 189 points, or 0.7%, to 26,107. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.9%.
OVERSEAS: Stocks in Europe edged lower while indexes in Asia moved broadly higher. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lagged and shed 0.4% as that city continues to deal with increased tensions from pro-democracy protests. The Hong Kong airport shut down on Monday when thousands of demonstrators occupied its main terminal.
Stocks in Argentina nosedived following a round of primary voting that could drastically change the leadership of the country as it faces a deep economic crisis.
FEAR FACTOR: Anxiety and fear over the U.S.-China trade war is hovering over the market and has taken stocks on a wild ride in August.
The S&P 500 index zoomed up and down last week, but ended in its second straight weekly loss. The wild swings follow President Donald Trump’s threat to impose more tariffs on Chinese goods, followed by China’s move to allow its currency to weaken.
Trump has said he’d be “fine” if the U.S. and China don’t go ahead with a meeting next month, dampening investors’ hopes for a path to resolving the economically damaging trade war.
GLITTERING RESULTS: Barrick Gold rose 1.8% after reporting a fourth quarter surge in gold production and a profit that met Wall Street forecasts. The company reaffirmed a solid 2019 forecast for gold production.