US stocks tumble on US-China trade jitters

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on December 06, 2018 in New York City. (AFP photo)

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 percent from 2.92 percent on Tuesday, a large move.

US stock and bond trading were closed Wednesday because of a national day of mourning for President George H.W. 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 percent to $46.64. Citigroup fell 4.8 percent to $59.25. Centene sank 7.3 percent to $131.80.

The S&P 500 index slid 61 points, or 2.3 percent, to 2,638 as of 11:47 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow dropped 626 points, or 2.5 percent, to 24,400. The

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