NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Dow and S&P 500 ended slightly lower on Tuesday as investors, worried about global growth prospects, fled from materials and industrials stocks but falling bond yields kept declines in check in the three major indexes.
The International Monetary Fund cut global economic growth forecasts for 2018 and 2019 and its 2019 U.S. and China estimates, saying the two countries would feel the brunt of their trade war next year.
Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump repeated a threat to impose tariffs on $267 billion worth of additional Chinese imports if Beijing retaliates for the recent levies and other measures the United States has taken in the countries’ escalating trade war.
The materials index .SPLRCM ended down 3.4 percent, its biggest one-day percentage drop since February 8. Chemical company PPG Industries (PPG.N) was its biggest loser, falling 10 percent after warning that its current-quarter profit would be hit by higher raw material costs and softer demand in China.
“If industrials and materials are weighed on because of concerns about global activity, it’s going to cast a pall over the market at large since S&P 500 companies generate about half of their business from overseas markets,” said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 56.21 points, or 0.21 percent, to 26,430.57, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 4.09 points, or 0.14 percent, to 2,880.34 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 2.07 points, or 0.03 percent, to 7,738.02.
But the main indexes gained some support from falling U.S. Treasury 10-year yields after a spike last week had put pressure on equities.
FILE PHOTO – Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., October 3, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
“It’s almost as if the