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Trader Peter Tuchman works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, April 2, 2018. U.S. stocks are skidding Monday morning after China raised import duties on U.S. pork, apples and other products. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)Richard Drew/The Associated Press

Wall Street shares plunged on Monday as investors fled technology stocks amid resurgent trade war worries, with key indexes trading below their 200-day moving averages and the S&P 500 closing below that pivotal technical level for the first time since Britain’s vote to leave the European Union in June 2016.

The first trading day of the second quarter began with a broad selloff concentrated in the technology and consumer discretionary sectors, as losses by Amazon.com, Tesla and Microsoft, among others, took center stage from retaliatory trade measures China unveiled on Sunday.

“It’s more complicated than just a tech selloff. What’s hurting everything is that the S&P went through its 200-day moving average,” said Brian Battle, director of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners in Chicago. “That attracts momentum sellers and they don’t care what the fundamentals are.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 458.92 points, or 1.9 per cent, to 23,644.19 after dipping below its 200-day moving average. 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.

Amazon.com was the biggest drag on the S&P 500, down 5.2 per cent, as President Donald Trump continued his twitter attacks on the online retailer.

All 11 major sectors of the S&P 500 closed lower, with the biggest losses seen by the consumer discretionary and technology indexes, which were down 2.8 per cent and 2.5 per cent, respectively.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq was dragged lower by Microsoft , Intel, Apple Inc, Facebook and Alphabet.

Shares of Tesla Inc ended the day down 5.1 per cent after the company was reported to be making 2,000 Model 3s per week, missing its 2,500 target.

The electric automaker’s losses extend last week’s near 14-per-cent decline as investigations of a fatal California crash and a Moody’s credit downgrade weighed on the stock.

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 . Walmart stock fell 3.8 per cent.

U.S. Treasury yields fell to two-month lows as investors fled sliding stocks for safety ahead of Friday’s closely watched jobs report.

Canada’s main stock index also dropped on Monday, led by a slide in energy companies as crude oil prices tumbled and by declines in financial companies.

Oil fell by more than 2 per cent, pressured by a rise in Russian production, expectations that Saudi Arabia will cut prices of the crude it sends to Asia and a deepening trade spat between China and the United States.

As a result, the energy sector sank 2.2 per cent. Shares of Enbridge Inc. fell 2.5 per cent and those of TransCanada Corp. dropped 2.1 per cent.

The heavily weighted financial sector dropped 0.9 per cent, led by losses in Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Nova Scotia and Toronto Dominion Bank.

The financial and energy sectors together make up for more than half the weight of TSX.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index unofficially closed down 153.84 points, or 1.0 per cent, at 15,213.45. Eight of the index’s 10 main groups ended lower.

The Canadian dollar slipped to an 11-day low against its U.S. counterpart.

The Canadian dollar was trading 0.1 percent lower at $1.2916 to the greenback, or 77.42 U.S. cents.

The currency’s strongest level of the session was $1.2864, while it touched its weakest since March 22 at $1.2944.

“It has been a broad based risk aversion move rather than anything CAD specific,” said Eric Theoret, a currency strategist at Scotiabank.

Globally, emerging market stocks were down 0.25 per cent.

The U.S. dollar fell for a second straight session.

The dollar index fell 0.15 per cent, with the euro down 0.16 per cent to $1.2301. The Japanese yen firmed 0.55 per cent versus the greenback at 105.70 per dollar.

Oil fell more than 2 per cent, pressured by a rise in Russian production, expectations that Saudi Arabia will cut prices of the crude it sends to Asia, and a deepening trade spat between China and the United States.

Brent crude fell $1.53 at $67.81 a barrel. U.S. crude lost $1.83 to $63.11.

U.S. drillers cut seven oil rigs in the week to March 29, bringing the total down to 797, the first decline in three weeks. The rig count is closely watched as an indicator of future U.S. oil output.

U.S. Treasury prices rose, with benchmark 10-year notes up 7/32 in price, pushing yields down to 2.7171 per cent.

Gold, which is often seen as a store of value during times of financial or political uncertainty, rose.

U.S. gold futures for June delivery settled up $19.60, or 1.5 per cent, at $1,346.90 per ounce.

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Tickers mentioned in this story

Study and track financial data on any traded entity: click to open the full quote page. Data updated as of 17/05/24 4:00pm EDT.

SymbolName% changeLast
BNS-T
Bank of Nova Scotia
+0.32%65.91
CVE-T
Cenovus Energy Inc
+1.14%27.52
TSN-N
Tyson Foods
-1.12%60.25
MSFT-Q
Microsoft Corp
-0.19%420.21
SU-T
Suncor Energy Inc
+0.76%54.57
AMZN-Q
Amazon.com Inc
+0.58%184.7

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