Wall Street tumbles on tech sector, trade war worries

"A reassessment of technology as well as what the trade issues might mean for exporting USA companies are hitting the market at the same time", said Rick Meckler, president, LibertyView Capital Management, Jersey City, New Jersey.

The Nasdaq composite slumped 193.33 points, or 2.7 percent, to 6,870.12.

Investors worry China's decision to raise tariffs on $3 billion of USA goods including pork, apples and steel pipe increases the risk of a broader conflict that might depress global trade.

That deflated some previously high-fliers including Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook.

Including pork, other meats, fruit, and steel pipes.

The price of gold climbed $19.60, or 1.5 percent, to $1,346.90 an ounce and silver jumped 40 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $16.67 an ounce as some investors took money out of stocks and looked for safer investments.

Investors had fled on Monday after S&P 500 breached its 200-day moving average and closed below it for the first time since June 2016 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped below its February 9 low in the session. After peaking at nearly $1,600 a share last month, Amazon has slumped with the market recently. Trump has repeatedly criticized Amazon over issues including taxes and Amazon's shipping deals with the U.S. Postal Service.

Warne, of Edward Jones, said investors are being cautious for now, but it's not clear if anything will come of Trump's badmouthing the company.

All 11 major sectors of the S&P 500 closed lower, with the biggest losses seen by the consumer discretionary and technology indexes, which were down 2.8 per cent and 2.5 per cent, respectively. Intel plunged $4.05, or 7.8 percent, to $48.04.

The looming threat of tighter regulation of the tech sector in Europe and the USA prompted investors to pull money out of high-flying companies, such as Netflix, Microsoft and Alphabet, Google's parent company. Boeing slid $8.25, or 2.5 percent, to $319.63.

Banks rose in tandem with interest rates, and health care companies also rallied.

Tesla (TSLA) came under regulatory scrutiny after a second crash this year involving the electric auto company's Autopilot driver-assistance system, the latest of which involved a death.

Amazon fell 5.2 per cent following broadsides from Trump on Twitter.

Bond prices finished little changed. Yields on 10-year notes were all off two- to three-month lows. Walmart stock fell 3.8 per cent.

The dollar dipped in early trading but rebounded to 106.16 yen from Monday's 105.89 yen. The euro fell to $1.2267 from $1.2300.

Benchmark U.S. crude gained 22 cents to $63.23 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Trading in France, Germany and Britain was closed for Easter. Earlier in Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 shed 0.4 per cent and Seoul's Kospi ended down 0.1 per cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng bucked the trend, ending up 0.2 per cent.

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