Wall Street tumbles on tech sector, trade war worries

In response, China announced it is raising tariffs on $3 billion of USA goods including pork, apples and steel pipe, increasing the risk of a broader conflict that might depress global trade. It's too soon to call it the beginning of a trade war, but for now, investors aren't sticking around to find out.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 600 points, or more than 2.7 percent, Monday afternoon due to a turbulent mix of trade war fears and President Trump's repeated attacks on Amazon.

The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 167.98 points, or 2.38 percent, at 6,895.47.

Facebook stock also continued to fall Monday (2.75 percent) as the social network faces scrutiny over its sale and collection of user data.

At 12:55 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was down 502.3 points, or 2.08 percent, at 23,600.81.

Shares of Amazon traded 0.7 percent stronger as of 1.55pm in NY, having fluctuated between gains and losses earlier in the day, as investors tried to assess the impact of US President Donald Trump's latest criticising tweets about the company. Meat producer Tyson Foods (TSN) slumped 6 percent percent, to $68.78 while Hormel (HRL) lost 97 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $33.37.

Shares of Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) ended the day down 5.1 percent after the company was reported to be making 2,000 Model 3s per week, missing its 2,500 target. Markets were hampered Monday by President Trump's Twitter assault on Amazon.com, in which he knocked the retailers relationship with the U.S. Postal Service.

The price of gold climbed $19.60, or 1.5 percent, to $1,346.90 an ounce and silver jumped 40 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $16.67 an ounce as some investors took money out of stocks and looked for safer investments.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 3.66-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.23-to-1 ratio favored advancers. Meanwhile, Tyson Foods Inc., a major USA pork exporter, suffered a 6.3-per-cent decline in its stock price after Beijing's food tariffs took effect. Most European markets were closed for the Easter holiday.

Health insurer Humana Inc's shares closed up 4.4 per cent on news it was in talks with Walmart to expand their partnership or possibly be acquired by the retailer.

Tesla (TSLA) came under regulatory scrutiny after a second crash this year involving the electric auto company's Autopilot driver-assistance system, the latest of which involved a death. Yield on 10-year Treasury note rose after dropping to two-month lows on Monday, boosted by safety buying as stocks tumbled.

Benchmark U.S. crude lost $1.76, or 2.7 percent, to $63.18 a barrel in NY. Natural gas picked up 1 cent to $2.70 per 1,000 cubic feet. CBS rose 2.5 per cent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar declined to 105.99 yen from 106.50 yen. The euro fell to $1.2267 from $1.2300. Hong Kong's Hang Seng bucked the trend, ending up 0.2 per cent at 30,137.49.

  • Wendy Palmer