Tech stocks pull Wall Street lower after China data

(Reuters) – Technology shares pulled Wall Street lower on Monday, after an unexpected drop in China’s exports in December reignited worries of a slowdown in global economic growth.

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., January 10, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The China trade data reinforced concerns that U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods were taking a toll on the world’s second-largest economy, prompting companies such as Apple Inc (AAPL.O) to issue profit warning.

Chipmakers, which get a sizable portion of their revenue from China, took a hit, with the Philadelphia SE semiconductor index .SOX down 1.01 percent. Trade-sensitive Boeing Co (BA.N) and Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N) also declined.

Citigroup Inc (C.N) kicked off the fourth-quarter earnings season for large U.S. banks by beating Wall Street profit estimates on Monday as lower expenses offset a drop in quarterly revenue.

The bank’s shares, which opened lower, reversed course to trade up 4.2 percent after Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach said the slowdown in China was not particularly disruptive to its global operations.

“The theme we’re going to see in a lot of earnings is not what the fourth-quarter numbers are, but what we expect going forward,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Gains in Citigroup shares helped bolster the S&P financial sector .SPSY, which rose 0.80 percent and was the only gainer among the 11 major S&P indexes.

JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) are set to report earnings on Tuesday.

The technology sector’s .SPLRCT 0.81 percent fall was the biggest drag on the S&P 500. Still, a recent rally in stocks, fueled by U.S.-China trade optimism and hopes of a slow pace of interest rate hikes, has driven a 10 percent gain

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