U.S. markets and stock ETFs slid Monday after an update on the manufacturing sector and a new round of trade concerns weighed on investors.
On Monday, the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEArca: DIA) dropped 0.7% while the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY) fell 0.6%.
Trade was brought back to the forefront of concerns after President Donald Trump said on Twitter that he would reinstate tariffs on steel and aluminum imports out of Brazil and Argentina, arguing that the two countries weakening currencies were a major contributing factor, the Wall Street Journal reports.
“We’ve seen world trade slowing down. The last thing we need is more tariffs to slow it down further,” Lucy Macdonald, chief investment officer for global equities at Allianz Global Investors, told the WSJ. “This has been a major source of concern for investors all year: trade, primarily the U.S. and China, but also the U.S. and everywhere else.”
U.S. factory activity weaker than expected
The equity market declines were further exacerbated after a gauge of U.S. factory activity came in weaker than expected. The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index declined to 48.1 in November from 48.3 in October, marking the fourth consecutive reading below 50, which represents a contraction in activity.
“It is all about the macro news today and that is basically overshadowing the good news on Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities, told Reuters. “The fact that the manufacturing sector is still in recession obviously also rekindles trade worries.”
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The markets are still waiting on updates from the U.S.-China trade talks. A senior adviser to Trump said a deal with China was still possible before the year’s end, and the first phase of the agreement was being laid out. The recent optimism over trade has helped push U.S. stocks to record highs.
“We are coming off the market high … any negative news is going to cause investors to take profits,” Cardillo added.
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