US stocks tumbled to start the second quarter, as the weakness in technology shares worsened amid renewed presidential criticism of Amazon.com and retaliatory tariffs from China. Treasuries pared losses and gold rallied.
All the 11 major S&P sectors fell, with markets also coming under pressure from renewed fears of a global trade war after China imposed additional tariffs on 128 U.S. products.
Dow Jones fell over 700 points, or 2.97 per cent, when reports last came in.
The S&P 500 Index slumped for the sixth time in eight days, punching through its average price for the past 200 days, a level of support that’s held in three prior bouts of selling. The index is now lower by more than 10 per cent from its January record. The Cboe Volatility Index jumped to 23.
The Nasdaq 100 Index lost 2.8 per cent as investors continued to offload some of the bull market’s biggest gainers. Amazon, up 50 per cent in the past year, sank after Donald Trump renewed his attack on the online retailer. Netflix slid as much as 6 per cent, while chipmakers in the S&P 500 plunged more than 3 per cent. Bonds erased declines and gold spiked higher as the equity selling picked up steam.
“This is definitely a flight to safety type of market,” said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at Oakbrook Investments. “You’re seeing people coming out of the stocks that had been performing well. There’d been various stories that momentum was extended in the market place, and I would say today’s activity supports that trying to unwind a bit.”
Walmart fell 3.8 percent. UnitedHealth rose 1.6 percent, one of the two Dow Industrials trading higher in the session.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 3.74-to-1 ratio on the downside and for a 3.63-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
These are the main moves in markets:
The S&P 500 Index declined 2.3 per cent as of 1:13 p.m. New York time.
The MSCI Emerging Market Index increased 0.2 per cent.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell less than 0.05 per cent to 1,124.38.
The euro climbed 0.1 per cent to $1.2333.
The British pound increased 0.3 per cent to $1.4059, the first advance in a week.