Wall Street sank on Thursday, snapping a four-day rally that pushed the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to record highs as tensions over U.S.-China trade relations dented investor sentiment and a deadline for making a deal with Canada approached.
The Nasdaq turned negative even as Amazon.com ( AMZN ) crossed above the $2,000 mark for the first time ever, while the losses on the S&P and the Dow Jones Industrial Average accelerated after Bloomberg reported President Donald Trump is backing $200 billion in tariffs on the Asian nation as early as next week.
Trade worries took the steam out of the markets' rally this week and sent nearly all of the S&P sectors into the red. Materials lost the most, sliding 1.3% while industrials sank 0.9% and financials were off by 0.8%. Only utilities, a haven in times of selling pressure, recovered losses late and ended higher by 0.1%.
Trump reportedly wants to impose the levies on China once a Sept. 6 deadline allowing for public comments on the extra tariffs passes. The reignited worries about relations between the world's biggest economies comes as the U.S. and Canada work toward a renegotiated North American trade deal that was reshaped when Mexico and the U.S. came to an agreement earlier this week.
On the Dow, trade-sensitive stocks drove the losses, with Caterpillar ( CAT ) shedding 2% and DowDuPont ( DWDP ) down 1.2%. Treasury yields fell, sending bond prices higher, amid the trade uncertainty, while the US dollar currency index was on the rise.
Retailers had a downbeat day, with the S&P's consumer discretionary group sinking 0.6% after earnings from Dollar Tree ( DLTR ) disappointed investors, sending its shares plunging 16% to the lowest in almost a year. Abercrombie & Fitch ( ANF ) dropped 17% after the clothing seller's sales fell short of Wall Street's estimates.
Metals shares were also skidding, with prices for gold, silver and copper all weaker. Dollar strength can constrain demand for the commodities as it makes them more expensive. Freeport McMoRan (FCX) fell 3.6%, Newmont Mining (NEM) shed 2.2% and BHP Billiton (BHP) was also down 2.2%.
Here's where the markets stood by the close:
Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 137.65 points (-0.53%)
S&P 500 was down 12.91 points (-0.44%)
Nasdaq Composite Index was down 21.32 points (-0.26%)
FTSE 100 was down 0.62%
Nikkei 225 was up 0.09%
Hang Seng Index was down 1.14%
Shanghai China Composite Index was down 0.89%
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