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Stocks - Trade Battles, Manufacturing Weakness Hit S&P 500






Investing.com – Stocks began the last month of 2019 with their second selloff in two sessions Monday as worries grew about U.S. trade fights with just about everyone and new reports that showed weakening manufacturing and construction data.

The trade fights included the threat of new tariffs on Chinese imports if a trade deal isn't struck by Dec. 15 and the possibility of new tariffs imposed on imports from the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Spain. The targets would include Airbus airliners. In addition, the Trump Administration added new tariffs on Brazilian and Argentinian steel.

The S&P 500 was off 0.86%, the Dow Jones industrials were down 0.96%, and the Nasdaq Composite and Nasdaq 100 indices fell 1.2% each.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) were both lower, and streaming video platform Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) fell sharply after a downgrade.

Energy and consumer staples were the only S&P 500 sectors showing gains.

Energy stocks were higher along with higher crude oil prices. OPEC is to meet this week and is expected to extend production cuts into 2020. Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) was up 0.5%.

Consumer staples stocks were led by the Dow leaders Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) and Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG).

Real estate and technology were the weakest sectors.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) was the weakest Dow stock, weighed down by continued worries about when the 737 Max jet will be re-certified. The tariffs that may be imposed on European imports related to Boeing's complaints that the European Union illegally subsidized the development of Airbus. The World Trade Organization agreed with Boeing on Monday.

Meanwhile, reports suggest softening in manufacturing and construction. The Institute for Supply Management's widely watched manufacturing index fell for a fourth-straight month thanks in part to Boeing and pullbacks in oil and gas drilling.

Construction spending also fell back.

Despite Monday's selling, stocks are still enjoying their best performance since 2013.