(Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks tumbled to start the second quarter, as the weakness in technology shares persisted amid renewed presidential criticism of Amazon.com and retaliatory tariffs from China. Treasuries pared losses and gold rallied.
The S&P 500 Index slumped for the sixth time in eight days, with losses since its January high approaching 10 percent. Volumes were 13 percent below average. The Nasdaq 100 Index lost 2.5 percent as investors continued to offload some of the bull market’s biggest gainers. Amazon slipped after Donald Trump renewed his criticism. Bonds pared declines and gold spiked higher as the equity selling picked up steam.
“This is definitely a flight to safety type of market,” said said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at Oakbrook Investments. “You’re seeing people coming out of the stocks that had been performing well. There’d been various stories that momentum was extended in the market place, and I would say today’s activity supports that trying to unwind a bit.”
Investors are entering the second quarter on the defensive after the worst three months for global stocks in more than two years. February and March were characterized by a surge in volatility amid a barrage of concerns, from escalating trade tensions to a selloff in technology shares. Focus this week will turn to U.S. labor market data Friday, which is expected to show unemployment fall to its lowest level since 2000, while traders will also have one eye on trade developments.
“The US markets will likely serve as a focal point as investors stateside and elsewhere consider what tact the administration will take toward trade in the weeks ahead and what effects it could have on the US economy and the economies of its trading partners,” John Stoltzfus, the chief investment strategist of Oppenheimer & Co., wrote in a note to clients Monday.
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Source:: The Mercury News – Business