U.S. stocks veered lower in morning trading Monday amid speculation that the Trump administration is preparing to impose tariffs on another $200 billion-worth of Chinese goods. Technology stocks, restaurant chains and banks were among the decliners. Industrial and basic materials companies also rose as the dollar weakened.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 8 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,896 as of 11:22 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 7 points to 26,146. The Nasdaq composite fell 72 points, or 0.9 percent, to 7,937. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gave up 11 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,710.
TARIFF TALK: Weekend reports suggest that President Donald Trump is ready to go through with threats to impose more tariffs on Chinese imports. The Wall Street Journal reported that the tariff level will likely be set at about 10 percent, below the 25 percent announced earlier this year.
At the same time, U.S. officials, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, are preparing to hold new talks on the tariff dispute with Beijing. Envoys met last month in Washington but reported no progress. The two governments have already imposed 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion of each other’s goods.
DATA PROBE: Amazon.com lost 2.3 percent to $1,925.92 after The Wall Street Journal reported that the online retail giant is investigating suspected bribes and data leaks of its employees.
APPETITE LOST: Several restaurant chains were trading lower. McDonald’s slid 1.8 percent to $158.02. Chipotle Mexican Grill lost 1.3 percent to $484.97.
TWEET THIS: Shares in Twitter fell 4.5 percent to $28.75 after an analyst cut the price target on the social media company.
TAKING OFF: Airlines and other industrial sector stocks posted solid gains as the dollar weakened. American Airlines Group rose 1.9 percent to $40.48, while Caterpillar added 1.5 percent to $147.15.
RELIEVED: Teva Pharmaceutical climbed 5.3 percent to $24.06 after U.S. regulators approved the drugmaker’s preventative migraine treatment.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added 0.1 percent to $69.03 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 0.3 percent to $78.34 a barrel in London.
The pickup in oil prices helped lift energy stocks. Anadarko Petroleum rose 1.5 percent to $63.93.
BOND YIELDS: Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury held steady at 2.99 percent.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 111.97 yen from 112.03 yen on Friday. The euro strengthened to $1.1690 from $1.1632.
MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, the DAX in Germany dropped 0.3 percent, while France’s CAC 40 was flat. Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.2 percent. Major indexes in Asia closed mostly lower. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.7 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index tumbled 1.3 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.3 percent. Japanese markets were closed for a national holiday.