NEW YORK, New York – Stocks were easier on Wall Street Thursday as investors continued to fret about trade tariffs, higher U.S. interest rates, the debt crisis in Italy, and geopolitical concerns relating to the continuing crisis embroiling Saudi Arabia.
Adding to recent worries was an accelerating fall in stocks in China, which have now shed almost a third of their value since the start of the year. The latest GDP results for China are expected on Friday.
“Like every other spurt of volatility, it’s hard to give an exact reason, but we have all the usual culprits: concern about global trade, earnings season and companies potentially staring down the barrel of another tariff war maybe over the winter,” Kevin Caron, a senior portfolio manager at Washington Crossing Advisors was quoted by Bloomberg as saying. “It’s a hodgepodge. You have all these things that come together at the same time.”
At the close of trading Thursday, the Dow Jones industrials were down 327.23 points or 1.27% at 25,379.45.
The Standard and Poor’s 500 declined 40.43 points or 1.44% to 2,768.78.
The Nasdaq Composite lost 157.56 points or 2.06% to 7,485.15.
Overseas markets picked up the slack on Friday with shares easing across the major indices. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell as much as 1.7% at one point, which the Australian All Ordinares were down around half-a-percent.
“Markets continue to digest the combination of higher U.S. rates, ongoing trade tension and Chinese growth concerns,” analysts at ANZ said in a note seen by Reuters.