By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday, breaking a four-session streak of gains after Washington's threat to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods fanned trade war fears, while a sharp drop in oil prices hit energy shares.
Materials <.SPLRCM>, down 1.7 percent, was another big negative influence on the market, with Freeport-McMoRan
Investors said trade war worries may slip to the background as investors begin to focus more closely on second-quarter earnings over the coming weeks. Results from JPMorgan Chase
"The trade situation is worrisome but nothing more is going to happen right away. This story may recede in people's consciousness while current stories capture people's interests, particularly earnings," said John Carey, portfolio manager at Amundi Pioneer Asset Management in Boston.
"People are looking for some fairly strong earnings, and there's certainly potential for disappointment."
Also pressuring the market Wednesday, the S&P 500 energy index <.SPNY> fell 2.2 percent, leading sector declines. U.S. crude oil futures
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 219.21 points, or 0.88 percent, to 24,700.45, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 19.82 points, or 0.71 percent, to 2,774.02 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 42.59 points, or 0.55 percent, to 7,716.61.
The market's drop was not as steep as what was seen in late March and early April when the escalating trade rhetoric between China and the United States led to the S&P falling more than 2 percent on four occasions.
The market slide may have been contained in part by speculation the Trump administration could change its mind by the end of August, when the tariffs are due to come into effect, some strategists said.
The utilities sector <.SPLRCU> was the only one in positive territory, with a 0.9 percent gain.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 2.74-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.87-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 13 new 52-week highs and one new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 63 new highs and 51 new lows.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)