Stocks tumbled on Wall Street Friday after the U.S. announced plans to expand its trade war to Mexico, its third-biggest trading partner.
The slump all but guarantees the market will end May with its first monthly loss of 2019. The S&P 500 index was on track for its fourth straight weekly decline. The benchmark index has lost about 6.5% this month.
Bond prices rose again, sending yields lower. Oil and gas prices fell sharply.
The new front in the trade war is hitting automakers particularly hard. Many of them import vehicles into the U.S. from Mexico. General Motors and Fiat Chrysler were each down at least 4%.
Technology stocks suffered some of the heaviest losses. They have been hurt the most by escalating rhetoric and tariffs in the U.S. trade war with China. Cisco fell 2.4% and Microsoft slid 1.4%.
Banks also declined as higher bond prices pushed yields lower. Investors have been shifting money into bonds over concerns that economic growth will be crimped by the ongoing trade war. Lower bond yields drag down interest rates, making lending less profitable for banks. Citigroup fell 1.9% and Bank of America lost 1.6%.
Energy companies sank following another broad slide in oil prices. Occidental Petroleum fell 3.8% and Valero Energy dropped 3.4%.
Real estate and utilities fared better than most sectors. They are considered less risky by investors when economic growth is threatened.
Investors have been fleeing to safer holdings all month. The shift to utilities and bonds quickened earlier in May after the U.S. and China broke off negotiations. The U.S. then pushed more tariffs on Chinese goods along with a ban on technology sales. That prompted retaliatory tariffs from China and threats over other key resources.
A smattering of late season