Stock benchmarks finished sharply lower Monday, building on the previous week’s decline on lingering worries over U.S.-China trade tensions and continued unrest in Hong Kong.
How did the major benchmarks perform?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
fell 391 points, or 1.5%, to 25,896.44, with the blue-chip gauge sinking by as many as 462.5 points to an intraday low at 25,824.94. All but shares of Merck & Co.
finished in negative territory, with the drug company gaining 0.2%.
Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index
shed 35.96 points, or 1.2%, to 2,882.70., with all 11 of its sectors ending lower, led by a 1.9% skid by financials
The Nasdaq Composite Index
dropped 95.73 points to 7,863.41, down 1.2%.
The Dow saw a 0.8% fall last week to end Friday at 26,287.44, while the S&P saw a 0.5% weekly decline to 2,918.65. The Nasdaq finished 0.6% lower last week at 7,959.14.
What’s driving the market?
A combination of crises emanating from Asia and Latin America helped to knock the U.S. stock market sharply lower Monday.
U.S.-China trade tensions, which increased last week after China last Monday allowed its yuan currency to weaken, trading above 7 per dollar, remained a key focus. Fueling concerns last week were comments by President Donald Trump on Friday morning that planned trade talks in September might not happen. The rhetoric follows the announcement earlier this month that the U.S. plans to implement a 10% tariff on the $300 billion in annual Chinese exports that have so far avoided new trade duties.
New tariffs would take effect Sept. 1. “Unlike previous rounds of tariffs deployed by this administration, these new tariffs would largely impact the consumer, with duties being placed on goods such as clothing, footwear and toys,” wrote Jason Pride, chief investment officer of private wealth at Glenmede in a Monday research note. “The consumer has acted as the engine driving forward this record-long expansion as manufacturing slows, but these tariffs may erode their spending power,” he added.
Adding to worries were events in Hong Kong, where authorities canceled more than 130 flights as thousands of demonstrators thronged the city’s airport to protest police for their handling of this summer’s protests.
Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs, in a Sunday note to clients, said it now expects a 0.6% drag on the U.S. economy due to trade-war developments, up from its earlier estimate of 0.2%. Goldman lowered its forecast for fourth-quarter gross domestic product by 20 basis points to 1.8%.
“Fears that trade war will trigger a recession are growing,” wrote Jan Hatzius, the firm’s chief U.S. economist.
Second-quarter earnings season will be all but in the books after this week. Through Friday, 90% of S&P 500 companies had reported results.
FactSet said that the blended earnings decline for the second quarter stood at -0.7%, a measure that combines actual results for companies that have reported and estimated results for companies that have yet to report.
If -0.7% is the actual decline for the quarter, it would mark the first time the index has reported two straight quarters of year-over-year declines in earnings since the first and second quarters of 2016, according to FactSet data. The blended revenue growth rate for the second quarter stood at 4.1%, which, if it holds, would mark the lowest revenue growth rate for the index since a 2.7% pace in the third quarter of 2016.
It’s a busy week for economic data, including the July consumer-price index on Tuesday, while Thursday brings July retail sales.
Also grabbing investors attention was a plunge in Argentina’s currency and stock market, as gauged by the MSCI Argentina ETF
suffered one of its worst falls in years after pro-business President Mauricio Macri was dealt a resounding defeat in a primary election Sunday against populist candidate Alberto Fernandez.
Which stocks are in focus?
Shares of Kraft Heinz Co.
were in focus after Fitch Ratings warned that the food and beverage manufacturer’s credit could soon hit junk status, after revising its outlook on the firm from stable to negative. Shares fell 0.8% Monday.
shares rose 3.1% after the food-service company reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street expectations, though revenue fell short.
Barrick Gold Corp.
stock fell 0.9%, even after reporting upbeat guidance for gold production along with its second-quarter earnings results.
Troubled Canadian cannabis company CannTrust Holdings Inc.
fell around 27% after disclosing it had received a report from Health Canada informing it that its manufacturing facility in Vaughan, Ontario, wasn’t compliant with certain regulations.
How did other markets trade?
The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note
fell 9.1 basis points to 1.640%, its lowest level since October 2016.
In Asia overnight, stocks were mostly higher, with the China CSI 300
rising 1.8%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225
added 0.4%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index
, meanwhile lost 0.4%. European stocks traded lower Monday, down 0.2%, as measured by the Stoxx Europe 600
In commodities markets, the price of oil
rose slightly to about $54.78 a barrel and the price of gold
added 0.6% to settle at $1,517.20 an ounce. The U.S. dollar
, meanwhile, edged less than 0.1% lower relative to its major counterparts.