US stocks fall as trade war fears spread
Prospect of global trade contraction threatens equity prices across sectors
Netflix is the worst performer on the S&P 100 as of 10:00 am, down nearly 5%, a bad sign for overall market support: the high-profile consumer tech names have held up the broad indices while industrials have fallen.
The 1% or so decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the nearly 2% decline in NASDAQ are motivated mainly by the escalating talk of trade war, but investors are selling market leaders as well as companies vulnerable to trade problems. That suggests a general vulnerability of US equity prices to a trade war, as investors consider the second- and third-order impact. And that’s a bad sign for the US stock market.
The second-worst performer was chipmaker Nvidia, down 3.5%, followed by Caterpillar, down 3%, and FedEx, down 2.9%. Nvidia does a lot of business in China which might be curtailed by tech controls, and Caterpillar is a top exporter. FedEx would suffer from any contraction in world trade.