Stocks plunge as Huawei arrest renews China tensions

US stocks tumbled again Thursday, knocking 600 points off the Dow Jones Industrial Average and putting the benchmark S&P 500 on track for its worst week since March.

The broad market decline came as the arrest of a senior Chinese technology executive overshadowed some positive comments on trade from Beijing and threatened to worsen trade tensions between the US and China.

The lingering trade dispute has deepened investors’ worries that the prospects for global economic and corporate earnings growth could be dimming.

Traders continued to shovel money into bonds, a signal that they see weakness in the economy ahead. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.85 per cent from 2.92 per cent on Tuesday, a large move.

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US stocks and bonds trading was closed Wednesday because of a national day of mourning for President George HW Bush.

“The market seems right now to be focused on increased risks for a 2020 recession,” said Patrick Schaffer, Global Investment Specialist, J.P. Morgan Private Bank. “It’s a very hard market to buy when you see really strong signals that we are indeed late (in the economic) cycle.”

Oil prices fell sharply as traders appeared to doubt that an expected production cut by OPEC will be enough to boost the price of crude.

Technology companies, banks and health care stocks took some of the heaviest losses in the latest wave of selling. Oracle slid 4.3 per cent to US$46.64. Citigroup fell 4.8 per cent to US$59.25. Centene sank 7.3 per cent to US$131.80.

The S&P 500 index slid 61 points, or 2.3 per cent, to 2,638 as of 11:47 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow dropped 626 points, or 2.5 per cent, to 24,400. The average briefly slumped as much as 784 points. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite lost 119

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