Technology companies led a broad slide for stocks Monday on Wall Street, handing the market a downbeat start to the month after notching strong gains in November.
Industrial, communication services and financial stocks also accounted for a big share of the sell-off. Energy stocks notched the biggest gain, aided by a 1.4 percent increase in the price of U.S. crude oil. Bond yields rose.
Trade tensions flared with China’s diplomatic retaliation for U.S. support of protesters in Hong Kong, putting investors in a selling mood. The selling accelerated after the U.S. government issued weak manufacturing and construction spending reports.
Wall Street has been hoping the world’s two biggest economies can make progress toward at least stalling new tariffs scheduled for Dec. 15 on $160 billion worth of Chinese products, including smartphones and laptops. The latest friction between Washington and Beijing could hamper that progress.
The S&P 500 index fell 27.11 points, or 0.9 percent, to 3,113.87. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 268.37 points, or 1 percent, to 27,783.04.
The Nasdaq lost 97.48 points, or 1.1 percent, to 8,567.99. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks gave up 16.92 points, or 1 percent, to 1,607.58.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.82 percent from 1.77 percent late Friday.
The stumbling start to December is a departure from the market’s strong performance last month. The S&P 500 closed out November with its best monthly gain since June. Last week also marked the benchmark index’s seventh weekly gain in eight weeks. In that time span, the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq each set multiple record closing highs.
Investor optimism the U.S. and China were nearing a trade deal helped spur the market’s milestone-setting run this fall, lifting it from a summer slide brought on by recession fears and uncertainty over trade.
The negotiations to end the longstanding trade war could face a tougher path this month following a flareup over Hong Kong, however.
China said Monday it will suspend U.S. military ship and aircraft visits to the semi-autonomous territory and sanction several American pro-democracy groups in retaliation against Washington for enacting into law legislation supporting anti-government protests.
The law, signed last Wednesday by President Donald Trump, mandates sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials who carry out human rights abuses and requires an annual review of the favorable trade status that Washington grants Hong Kong.
In other trade developments, President Trump on Monday accused Argentina and Brazil of hurting American farmers through currency manipulation and said he’ll slap tariffs on their steel and aluminum imports to retaliate.
Both South American nations were among a group of U.S. allies that Trump had exempted from steel and aluminum tariffs in March 2018. United States Steel climbed 4.2 percent and AK Steel rose 4.7 percent after Trump’s remarks.
New data on manufacturing and construction spending also helped drag stock indexes lower Monday.