Wall Street falls on worries over trade, global growth

FILE PHOTO:  Traders work on the floor at the NYSE in New York
FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 8, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

April 9, 2019

By Sruthi Shankar and Shreyashi Sanyal

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday after President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on European goods, while the IMF’s downbeat outlook for global growth added to worries about an economic slowdown stemming from trade disputes.

Trade-sensitive industrial stocks were among the worst hit, dropping 1.02%, followed by losses in energy, materials and financials.

Boeing Co shares fell 1.3%, after the planemaker handed over far fewer planes in the first quarter due to the global grounding of its best-selling 737 MAX jets following two fatal crashes.

3M Co and Caterpillar Inc were down more than 1 percent each and also weighed on the Dow.

The United States threatened to slap tariffs on hundreds of European goods on Monday as retaliation for subsidies given to Airbus. In response, an EU official said the European Union had begun preparations to retaliate over Boeing subsidies.

In its third downgrade to global economic outlook since October, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that growth could slow further due to trade tensions and a potentially disorderly British exit from the European Union.

The IMF’s outlook also added to concerns about the upcoming earnings season, which may see its first quarterly contraction in profits since 2016.

“The IMF downgrade just shows that the odds of robust growth are not very high. It is also going to be difficult for the U.S. to maintain earnings growth especially if global growth is sluggish,” said Craig Birk, chief investment officer at Personal Capital in San Francisco.

Earnings begin in earnest, with Delta Air Lines Inc reporting on Wednesday, followed by big U.S. banks later this week. January-March profit for S&P 500 companies is expected to fall 2.5% from last year, according to Refinitiv data.

At 11:07 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 154.16 points, or 0.59%, at 26,186.86, the S&P 500 was down 12.40 points, or 0.43%, at 2,883.37 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 14.98 points, or 0.19 percent, at 7,938.91.

The Dow Jones transports index fell 0.9%, on track to end a four-day run of gains.

Declines were led by a 2.6% drop in American Airlines Group Inc after the carrier trimmed its first-quarter revenue forecast, mainly due to the global grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX jets.

Of the 11 major S&P sectors, nine were lower. Energy stocks fell 0.89% as oil prices retreated from their five-month highs. [O/R]

Pentair Plc shares tumbled 13.8%, the most on the S&P 500, after the water treatment company forecast full-year profit below expectations.

United States Steel Corp fell 7.9% after Credit Suisse downgraded the stock to “underperform”.

Walt Disney Co rose 1.4% after Cowen and Co raised its rating on the company to “outperform”.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.22-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 2.04-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 14 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 36 new highs and 17 new lows.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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