The US stock market finished lower for a third consecutive session on Tuesday, 03 December 2019, amid dampening hopes of a possible near-term respite from trade war with China after comments from President Donald Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. At closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 280.23 points, or 1.01%, to 27,502.81, while the S&P 500 slipped 20.67 points, or 0.66%, to 3,093.20. The Nasdaq Composite fell 47.34 points, or 0.55%, to 8.520.64.
Nine of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500 were in negative territory, with energy, financial and trade-vulnerable industrial stocks suffered the largest percentage losses.
Risk aversion selloff flared amid dampening hopes of a possible near-term respite from the market-bruising U. S.-China trade war after comments from President Donald Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Trump suggested a deal might have to wait until after the 2020 election, and separately, Ross confirmed that new tariffs on Chinese imports would take effect on Dec. 15 as scheduled, unless substantial progress was made.
Washington and Beijing have been haggling over a phase one trade deal over the past several weeks, an effort seen by many investors as an attempt at a sort-of truce until the globe's two largest economies can agree on a longer-term relationship.
Both sides have introduced tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of imports as the disagreement escalated over the last year; additional U. S. tariffs are set to take effect on Dec. 15.
Those remarks, on the heels of France's threatened retaliation over potential new U. S. duties on French products, itself a retaliation against a proposed French "digital tax," suggested that America's hydra-headed tariff war against its major trading partners would continue to dominate markets for the foreseeable future.
The French tax imposes a 3% tax on revenues tech companies generate in France, including targeted advertising and digital marketplaces. In response, the White House on Monday said it could impose duties of up to 100% on $2.4 billion in imports of French champagne, cheese and other luxury goods.
The setback in the Chinese trade negotiations, coupled with tariffs on the French with regard to the digital tax and tariffs on Brazil and Argentina for steel, disappointing the markets.
Shares of companies with higher-than-average overseas sales exposure underperformed the broader market. Caterpillar slid 2%, Intel dropped 2.8% and Apple lost 1.8%.
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