The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 indexes closed out the trading day slightly lower on Tuesday over concerns about global growth prospects with materials and industrials stocks taking most of the beating. However, a drop in bond yields kept the declines in check in the three major indexes.
The International Monetary Fund cut global economic growth forecasts for 2018 and 2019 and its 2019 U.S. and China estimates, saying the two countries would feel the brunt of their trade war next year.
Meanwhile, Trump repeated a threat to impose tariffs on $267 billion worth of additional Chinese imports if Beijing retaliates for the recent levies and other measures the United States has taken in the countries’ escalating trade war.
The materials index ended down 3.4 percent, its largest one-day percentage drop since February 8. PPG Industries was its largest loser, falling 10 percent after warning that its current-quarter profit would be hit by higher raw material costs and softer demand in China.
However, the main indexes gained some support from falling Treasury 10-year yields after a spike last week had put pressure on equities.
Along with chemicals companies, paper packaging stocks WestRock and Packaging Corp of America both fell 8 percent, after BMO flagged the risk of rising industry supply.
The trade-sensitive industrials sector lost 1.5 percent with help from airline stocks, which fell 3 percent.
American Airlines was its largest percentage decliner with a 6.5 percent drop after it said fuel prices were higher than expected in the third quarter, triggering concerns that rising fares were not enough to offset energy costs.
The energy index was the S&P’s best gainer, with a 1 percent advance as oil prices rose on growing evidence of falling Iranian crude exports and a partial Gulf of Mexico production shutdown, due to Hurricane Michael.
Approximately 7.26 billion shares changed hands on the major domestic equity exchanges, in line with the 7.27 billion share average over the past 20 trading days.