Wall Street lower as U.S.-China trade tensions mount

 Wall Street lower as U.S.-China trade tensions mount

By Aparajita Saxena

(Reuters) - The Dow and the S&P 500 fell after China's retaliatory action against U.S. tariffs rekindled concerns that the world's two biggest economies were headed toward a trade war, with losses limited by gains in energy shares.

U.S. President Donald Trump said last week he was pushing ahead with hefty tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports, prompting a swift response from Beijing, which said it would slap duties on several American commodities.

Boeing, the single largest U.S. exporter to China, fell nearly 1 percent, while construction equipment maker Caterpillar declined 1.4 percent.

Intel was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq on China tariff concerns and a downgrade by Northland Securities. A host of other chipmakers, which depend on China for a larger part of their revenues, also slipped.

"Right now, trade developments are moving in a 'two-steps-forward-one-step-back' type of pattern," said Meghan Shue, a senior investment strategist at Wilmington Trust in Delaware.

"Friday was a step back, but we continue to believe this is part of the administration's negotiation strategy to secure better trade terms," she said.

Oil prices rose in volatile trade on Monday ahead of an OPEC meeting this week, where top producers are widely expected to push for higher output.

Chevron Corp rose nearly 2 percent and was the top gainer on the Dow Jones, while Exxon Mobil gained 0.6 percent higher.

At 12:01 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 163.31 points, or 0.65 percent, at 24,927.17, the S&P 500 was down 10.41 points, or 0.37 percent, at 2,769.25 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 15.35 points, or 0.2 percent, at 7,731.03.

Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, led by a 1.5 percent decline in the telecommunications sector.

The S&P financial index was down 0.3 percent, with three of the six major U.S. banks trading lower after the yield on U.S. 10-year note slipped to 2.9187 percent, from Friday's 2.924 percent.

Among other stocks, Valeant Pharmaceuticals' U.S.-listed shares fell 6.5 percent after the U.S. health regulator declined to approval the company's plaque psoriasis treatment lotion.

JD.Com's U.S.-listed shares were up 2.5 percent after Alphabet's Google invested $550 million in the Chinese e-commerce powerhouse.

Biotechnology firm China Biologic rose 22 percent after Chinese investment giant CITIC Capital Holdings offered to buy it in a deal valuing the company at $3.65 billion.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE for a 1.17-to-1 ratio and for a 1.17-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P 500 index showed 15 new 52-week highs and 4 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 114 new highs and 29 new lows.

(Reporting by Aparajita Saxena and Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date: Jun 19, 2018 00:05:11 IST