Wall Street’s major indexes have dipped as inflamed trade tensions between the US and China weigh on investor sentiment.
A day after Washington’s temporary easing of curbs against Huawei Technology provided respite to US stocks, reports that the White House could impose restrictions on another Chinese technology company rattled US shares anew.
Media reports on Wednesday said the Trump administration was considering sanctions on video surveillance firm Hikvision.
Fears that tit-for-tat tariffs and other retaliatory actions by the US and China will hamper global growth have kept investors on edge, putting the S&P 500 on track to post its first monthly decline since the December sell-off.
Jim Awad, senior managing director at Clearstead Advisors in New York, said business between the US and China was not going to be what it was two months ago.
“They’re going to tighten the screws, and we’re going to tighten the screws,” he said.
“The market is attempting to reset US profit growth expectations in light of that.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 100.72 points on Wednesday, or 0.39 per cent, to 25,776.61, the S&P 500 lost 8.09 points, or 0.28 per cent, to 2856.27 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 34.88 points, or 0.45 per cent, to 7750.84.
A tumble in shares of Qualcomm and Lowe’s Companies helped drag down the benchmark S&P 500 index.
A federal judge ruled that Qualcomm illegally suppressed competition in the market for smartphone chips by threatening to cut off supplies and extracting excessive licensing fees. The chipmaker’s shares plunged 10.9 per cent.
Lowe’s shares dived 11.8 per cent after the home improvement chain cut its full-year profit forecast.
Another retailer, Nordstrom, also reduced its sales and profit forecasts. Nordstrom shares dropped 9.2 per cent.
However, shares of Target jumped 7.8 per cent, the most among S&P 500 companies, after the retailer’s quarterly same-store sales and profit beat estimates.
The release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting, in which officials agreed that their patient approach to setting monetary policy could remain in place “for some time”, had little impact on Wall Street’s major indexes.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.71-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.94-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 28 new 52-week highs and eight new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 43 new highs and 121 new lows.
Volume on US exchanges was 6.00 billion shares, compared to the 6.94 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.