US stocks hit af­ter Trump’s state­ments

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT - Yashaswini Swamy­nathan

US STOCKS lost ground yes­ter­day as in­vestors di­gested Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s pro­tec­tion­ist state­ments and sought safe-haven as­sets such as gold and US Trea­sury bonds.

Trump, who met with a dozen prom­i­nent Amer­i­can man­u­fac­tur­ers at the White House, said he would slash reg­u­la­tions and cut cor­po­rate taxes to boost the econ­omy.

He, how­ever, re­in­forced his stance of putting “Amer­ica first” by warn­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers of penal­ties if they moved pro­duc­tion out­side the coun­try.

The Trump trade, which led Wall Street to re­peated highs since the elec­tion, has un­rav­elled in re­cent weeks as in­vestors fret about the po­ten­tial im­pact of his iso­la­tion­ist stance on world trade and the lack of clar­ity on his poli­cies.

“The mar­ket wants… more de­fin­i­tive state­ments like how health­care and tax re­forms get played out,” said Robert Pav­lik, the chief mar­ket strate­gist at Bos­ton Pri­vate Wealth.

At 10:55am ET, the Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age was down 65.9 points, or 0.33 per­cent, at 19 761.35, the Stan­dard and Poor’s (S&P) 500 fell 9.93 points, or 0.43per­cent, at 2261.38 and the Nas­daq Com­pos­ite was down 22.81 points, or 0.41per­cent, at 5532.52.

Trump made it clear that he planned to hold talks with lead­ers of Canada and Mex­ico to rene­go­ti­ate the North Amer­i­can Free Trade Agree­ment (Nafta) and in­tended to with­draw from the 12-na­tion trade pact of the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship.

The dol­lar hit a six-week low yes­ter­day, while prices of safe-haven gold rose for the third con­sec­u­tive day.

Oil prices fell about 1 per­cent on signs of strong US drilling ac­tiv­ity. The S&P en­ergy in­dex hit its low­est level since Novem­ber 30. Eight other S&P sec­tors were also lower. Safe-haven stocks util­i­ties and real-es­tate were the out­liers.

Qual­comm dropped 13.4 per­cent to $54.44 (R738) af­ter Ap­ple filed a $1 bil­lion law­suit against the chip sup­plier last Fri­day. Qual­comm was the big­gest drag on the S&P and the Nas­daq, while Ap­ple’s stock was flat. Hal­libur­ton fell 3.4per­cent af­ter it re­ported a big­ger loss in the lat­est quar­ter.

Shares of Au­tozone, Ad­vance Auto Parts, O’Reilly fell be­tween 2.5 per­cent and 4.8 per­cent af­ter the NY Post said Ama­zon.com might start sell­ing car parts. The on­line re­tailer’s stock was up 0.1per­cent.

De­clin­ing is­sues out­num­bered ad­vancers on the NYSE by 1 494 to 1 313. On the Nas­daq, 1 725 is­sues fell and 910 ad­vanced. The S&P 500 in­dex showed 13 new 52-week highs and six new lows, while the Nas­daq recorded 55 new highs and 28 new lows. – Reuters

PHOTO: REUTERS

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE yes­ter­day. US stocks lost ground as in­vestors di­gested Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s pro­tec­tion­ist state­ments and sought safe-haven as­sets such as gold and US Trea­sury bonds.

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