Stocks struggled to post gains Monday as Wall Street worried about how China and Mexico tariffs will affect the health of the global economy and investors watched for possible antitrust probes of Amazon and Google.
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President Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on imports from Mexico because of the large number of illegal immigrants crossing into America at its southern border worried investors, as did the public statement Sunday by China's government that blamed the U.S. for worsening Sino-American trade relations.
The upshot of such concerns drove many investors to seek safety rather than the relatively more risky stocks, putting pressure on bond yields.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was particularly hard hit, falling during intraday trading 10 percent from its closing high of 8,164 on May 3. If it closes 10 percent below that record it will be in correction territory.
The Dow, meanwhile, is coming off a six-week losing streak, the longest losing streak in eight years. If the selling pressure in stocks continues and the Dow falls this week, it would be seven straight down weeks, which hasn’t happened in almost 18 years, since July 6, 2001.
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Mexican Economy Minister Graciela Marquez said on Sunday she will meet with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Monday in Washington in the midst of growing trade. tensions between the two nations.
The planned meeting comes as Trump threatened to impose a 5 percent tariff on all goods imported from Mexico beginning June 10 in an effort to get the country to prevent undocumented migrants from entering the U.S. The tax could increase to 25 percent and remain at that level “unless and until Mexico substantially stops the illegal inflow of aliens coming through its territory,” the White House said.
In addition, the Trump administration’s heightened antitrust scrutiny of Amazon and Google could have a wide-reaching impact on the sector even if charges are not brought against two of the largest U.S. technology firms, former government officials, industry experts and attorneys tell FOX Business. Both companies were down on word of the potential for federal probes.
Shares of other large-cap technology corporations, as well as big consumer companies, were also down -- with Apple being the exception.
Only Amazon and Microsoft are positive year-over-year.
China on Sunday blamed the United States for the trade war vowing it would not back down and accused Washington of being an untrustworthy negotiator as tensions continue to escalate between the two countries.
China released a policy paper that claimed the U.S. had backtracked three times during trade negotiations by implementing new tariffs and other conditions. The report said that China has kept its word throughout 11 rounds of talks and will honor its commitments if a trade agreement is reached.
“The more the U.S. government is offered, the more it wants," the paper said, adding that America's negotiators are "resorting to intimidation and coercion."
The yield on U.S. Treasurys was down 2.12 percent, while crude oil prices were steady at approximately $53.97 per barrel.
China’s Shanghai Composite closed down 0.30 percent, the Hang Seng ended 0.03 percent lower and Japan’s Nikkei 225 retreated 0.93 percent.
Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.47 percent, France’s CAC 40 fell 0.31 percent and Germany’s DAX was off 0.24 percent.