NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street’s three major indexes tumbled in late afternoon trading on Friday as investors shied away from risky bets going into the weekend while they braced for a potential U.S. trade war with China.
President Donald Trump’s plans for tariffs on up to $60 billion in Chinese goods moved the world’s two largest economies closer to a trade war as China declared plans to levy duties on up to $3 billion of U.S. imports including fruit and wine even as it urged the United States to “pull back from the brink.”
“There is concern what the trade war could look like. Investors want to manage their risk. If it escalates rapidly, it could be a major headwind for the market,” said Peter Kenny, senior market strategist at Global Markets Advisory Group, in New York.
Nasdaq was weighed down by technology stocks. Facebook (FB.O) investors continued to flee in the wake of a data scandal and the semiconductor sector took a fall after Micron Technology’s (MU.O) quarterly report stoked fears about falling NAND prices.
The S&P’s financial sector was the S&P’s biggest percentage loser due to falling yields in U.S. Treasuries.
At 3:26 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 288.14 points, or 1.2 percent, to 23,669.75, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 39.98 points, or 1.51 percent, to 2,603.71 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 118.33 points, or 1.65 percent, to 7,048.35.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 2.76-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 3.04-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 2 new 52-week highs and 30 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 20 new highs and 83 new lows.
Additional reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Sinead Carew in New York; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Nick Zieminski