U.S. stocks are turning lower Thursday after Bloomberg News reported the Trump administration could put tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods as early as next week, following up on a threat it’s been making for several months.
A spokesman for the Chinese government said earlier that the U.S. should negotiate with China as an equal to resolve their dispute over technology policy.
A four-day rally brought major U.S. indexes to record highs. Banks are falling with interest rates and the stronger dollar is sending industrial and basic materials companies lower.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index lost 13 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,901 at closing time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 138 points, or 0.5 percent, to 25,987. The Nasdaq composite lost 21 points, or 0.3 percent, to 8,088.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks added 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,737.
TRADE WAR HEATS UP: Bloomberg News said President Donald Trump supports placing import taxes on $200 billion in Chinese goods next week, when a review by the U.S. Trade Representative concludes.
China has threatened to retaliate with tariffs on $60 billion in goods from the U.S. and could take other measures as well.
Construction equipment maker Caterpillar fell 2 percent to $139.07. Gold and copper miner Freeport-McMoRan lost 3.5 percent to $14.15 and steel producer Nucor slid 2 percent to $62.74. General Motors fell 2.3 percent to $36.28.
SHOP, OR JUST DROP: Discount retailer Dollar Tree plunged 14.7 percent to $80.54 after its quarterly profit and sales fell short of Wall Street projections. Investors were also concerned about the company’s forecast for the rest of the year.
Competitor Dollar General slipped 1.5 percent to $105.09 after it said its profit margins dipped. Clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch sank 17.6 percent to $22.43 after its sales disappointed analysts while PVH, which owns the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands, lost 9.8 percent to $141.42. Arts and crafts retailer Michaels fell 10.2 percent to $17.93.
DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH: While many other retailers struggled, Signet Jewelers jumped 26 percent to $68.87 after its sales flew past expectations and it raised its forecasts for the year. Also rising was clothing and accessories retailer Tilly’s, which rose 13.7 percent to $20.46 after its report.
HITTING PAUSE: Video game maker Electronic Arts dropped 9.4 percent to $116.38 after it said the release of a major game, “Battlefield V,” will be delayed by four weeks. It also said the strong dollar is hurting its sales. It cut a revenue forecast, citing those problems.
MEDICAL MERGER: K2M Group jumped 25.6 percent to $27.42 after larger medical device maker Stryker agreed to buy it for $27.50 a share, or $1.2 billion. Stryker slipped 1.2 percent to $169.19.
SEND IT BACK?: Campbell Soup says it will sell its international and fresh food businesses to pay down debt and will focus on its snack and soup business in North America. Investors appeared unenthusiastic about the proposal, and the stock lost 2.3 percent to $39.07.
PESO PLUNGE: Argentina’s peso plunged to another record low. The country’s central bank raised its primary interest rate to 60 percent, the highest in the world, to try to stop the sharp decline in the national currency. The peso has dropped more than 50 percent this year.
The national Merval index jumped 5 percent after president Mauricio Macri said Wednesday that he is asking the International Monetary Fund for the early release of $50 billion in rescue funds for Argentina.
Other emerging market stock indexes, including those in Brazil and Mexico, took losses.
A2K: Amazon stock climbed over the $2,000 mark for the first time. Its stock rose 0.6 percent to $2,010.36. The online retail behemoth’s stock is up almost 600 percent in the last five years, including a gain of 72 percent so far in 2018. That’s taken Amazon’s market value to almost $1 trillion. Earlier this month Apple became the first publicly traded company to reach $1 trillion in market value.
ENERGY: Oil prices rose. Benchmark U.S. crude gained 1.4 percent to $70.25 a barrel in New York, while Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 0.8 percent to $77.77 a barrel in London.
Wholesale gasoline rose 1.8 percent to $2.14 a gallon. Heating oil inched up 0.3 percent to $2.25 a gallon. Natural gas added 0.4 percent to $2.87 per 1,000 cubic feet.
BONDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.86 percent from 2.88 percent. That hurt banks, as lower yields mean long-term loans are less profitable.
METALS: Gold fell 0.5 percent to $1,205 an ounce. Silver sank 1.5 percent to $14.59 an ounce. Copper lost 0.7 percent to $2.71 a pound.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 111.08 yen from 111.69. The euro fell to $1.1663 from $1.1699.
OVERSEAS: Germany’s DAX was down 0.5 percent and the CAC 40 in France shed 0.4 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares fell 0.6 percent.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.1 percent while the Kospi in South Korea dropped 0.1 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was 0.9 percent lower.
© The Associated Press. All rights reserved.