Stocks had worst fall in past two years: Here’s what we know today

Stocks had their worst fall last week in two years as investors sold tech companies and banks due to fears they might be hurt if Beijing responds to a U.S. tariff hike by raising its own duties on American goods.

The Dow Jones industrial average plunged more than 400 points, bringing its weekly decline to 1,400.

Technology companies and banks sustained some of the biggest losses. Applied Materials lost 5.9 percent and Bank of America fell 4.5 percent.

Traders are worried that an escalating trade spat between Washington and Beijing will hurt U.S. businesses, especially those that do a lot of sales overseas.

The Dow lost 424 points, or 1.8 percent, to 23,533.

The S&P 500 fell 55 points, or 2.1 percent, to 2,588. The Nasdaq fell 174 points, or 2.4 percent, to 6,992.

Prices for Treasury bonds and gold rose.

Facebook fell 13.9 percent, wiping out $68 billion of market value, as outrage mounted over its handling of user data. The S&P fell 2.1 percent and the Dow lost 1.8 percent. The Nasdaq shed 2.4 percent.

Here’s what we know about this week:

This morning, major global stock markets rose Monday despite mounting fears about U.S.-Chinese trade tensions.

KEEPING SCORE: In early trading, Germany’s DAX rose 0.3 percent to 11,918.53 and London’s FTSE 100 advanced 0.3 percent to 6,940.82. France’s CAC-40 added 0.1 percent to 5,101.09. On Friday, the DAX lost 1.8 percent, the CAC-40 fell 1.4 percent and the FTSE 100 shed 0.4 percent. On Wall Street, futures for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index and the Dow Jones industrial average rose 1.1 percent and 1 percent, respectively.

ASIA’S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.6 percent to 3,133.72 while Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.7 percent to 20,766.10. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.7 percent to 30,512.14 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 retreated 0.5 percent to 5,790.50. Seoul’s Kospi added 0.8 percent to 2,437.08 and India’s Sensex advanced 0.3 percent to 32,695.04. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Singapore and Bangkok gained while New Zealand declined.

TRADE FEARS: China’s new economy czar, Vice Premier Liu He, told U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a phone call that Beijing was ready to defend itself in an escalating tariff dispute, according to the Chinese government. President Donald Trump on Thursday approved possible higher duties on $60 billion worth of Chinese goods in a dispute over technology policy. On Friday, Beijing released a $3 billion list of U.S. goods targeted for possible retaliation over an earlier U.S. tariff hike on steel and aluminum imports. That has prompted fears the spat might depress trade worldwide and set back a global economic recovery. China has yet to say how it might respond to Trump’s latest tariff approval, prompting hopes for a settlement.

ANALYST’S TAKE: “Markets are caught in conflicting currents. The trade tensions imperil growth,” said Michael McCarthy of CMC Markets in a report. “There is hope risk assets may stabilize,” said McCarthy. “Despite an extensive stream of tweets over the weekend President Trump declined to mention trade matters. This could be a sign that the threatened barriers are a negotiating position rather than a line in the sand.”

CHINESE FINANCE: China’s new central bank chief announced plans to rein in surging debt and curb financial risks. Speaking at an economic forum, Yi Gang said high debt at state-owned companies and local governments and rising household borrowing are “still a challenge.” But he expressed confidence Beijing has the experience and resources to mitigate risk. The ruling Communist Party has made controlling risk a priority after a run-up in debt prompted rating agencies last year to cut Beijing’s government credit rating.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 50 cents to $65.38 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract jumped $1.58 on Friday to close at $65.88. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 38 cents to $69.42 in London. It rose $1.43 the previous session to $69.81.

CURRENCY: The dollar gained to 105.06 yen from Friday’s 104.72 yen. The euro advanced to $1.2383 from $1.2352.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


• Former DP&L power plants to lay off 370 workers in Ohio

• Amazon looking to buy abandoned Toys 'R' Us storefronts

• Coroner requested after Fuyao forklift accident: What we know now

• Macy's outlet store to open at shopping center in Dayton area

• Check out this $1 million home for sale in Clearcreek Twp.

About the Author