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US: Dow, S&P 500 fall on trade war worries


[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks mostly fell on Monday as worries about rising trade tensions between the US and China offset gains by petroleum-linked companies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4 per cent to 24,987.54.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.2 per cent to 2,773.87, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index was essentially flat at 7,747.03.

Analysts said investors were still jittery following Friday's tit-for-tat announcements by the US and China announcing new tariff measures. Markets fear a further escalation of measure that could derail the global economy.

"Trade concerns are the bulk of the issue here," said Nate Thooft of Manulife Asset Management, adding that shares would be down more if people sensed a genuine crisis.

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"Investors are looking through this situation by saying, 'This is not really a trade war but maybe a trade battle' as the dollar amounts we are talking amount are pretty small in the grand scheme of the volume of trade that occurs between these major nations."

Dow members Boeing and Caterpillar, two big players in China, both lost almost one percent.

But petroleum producers such as Apache and ConocoPhillips both jumped about two per cent as oil prices rallied ahead of an upcoming Opec meeting.

But consumer-oriented stocks were under pressure, including Procter & Gamble, which shed two per cent, Kraft Heinz, which lost 1.2 per cent and CVS Health, which slumped 3.4 per cent.

Google parent Alphabet gained 1.8 per cent after announcing it would invest US$550 million in Chinese retail giant Shares of also climbed 0.4 per cent.


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