U.S. stocks fall on tech weakness, Treasuries slip

President Donald Trump

China announced before markets opened Monday that it would impose a 15 percent tariff on more than 120 goods imported from the US, including pork, fruit and nuts. Technology companies took some of the worst losses, and while it's too soon to call it the beginning of a trade war, investors aren't sticking around to find out if one is coming.

The S&P 500 Index slumped after its first quarterly retreat since 2015, with volumes 17% below average.

In 1.49pm trading in NY, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.2 percent. The S&P 500 fell 58.99 points, or 2.23 per cent, to 2,581.88 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 193.33 points, or 2.74 per cent, to 6,870.12. Boeing (BA) slid $6.14, or 1.9 percent, to $321.74, while industrial giant Caterpillar (CAT) fell 2.75 percent to $143.33.

General Motors climbed 3 percent to $36.83 and Ford rose 2.6 percent to $11.14 after the two automakers said their sales improved in March following a rough patch at the beginning of the year.

The Dow is down 1,075.03 points, or 4.3 percent. Seoul's Kospi retreated 0.6 percent to 2,429.18.

Amazon sank following weekend broadsides from President Donald Trump on Twitter, while Facebook tumbled as a widening privacy scandal continued to weigh on the company's stock.

NAFTA worries are also on the rise after Trump took aim at the trade deal between the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Trump once again accused Amazon of taking advantage of the US Postal Service. Technology stocks were the biggest drags of the day; the sector lost 2.6%, with Google-parent Alphabet Inc. down 3.1% and Microsoft Corp. shedding 3.3%.

Snap's stock fell 8.9 percent Monday.

Markets in China, Japan, Australia and South Korea all declined while the Japanese yen rose against the dollar as currency traders looked for a safe haven. Trump has also proposed tariffs on a wider range of about US$60 billion worth of Chinese goods that China has yet to respond to beyond promising it will defend itself.

Tesla (TSLA) came under regulatory scrutiny after a second crash this year involving the electric vehicle company's Autopilot driver-assistance system, the latest of which involved a death. The yield on the 10-year Treasury stayed at 2.74 percent after a sharp decline last week.

The June gold contract closed up $19.60 at US$1,346.90 an ounce and the May copper contract was up two cents at US$3.05 a pound.

U.S. WTI crude oil +0.7% at $63.46/bbl.

Cannabis stocks also saw declines on the TSX as Aurora Cannabis Inc. ended down 2.47 per cent, Aphria Inc. down 2.09 per cent, and Canopy Growth Corp. down 4.90 per cent. The euro fell to $1.2267 from $1.2300. Hong Kong's Hang Seng bucked the trend, ending up 0.2 percent. Brent crude, used to price global oils, slid $1.52, or 2.2 percent, to $67.82 a barrel in London.

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