The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 352 points Thursday as investors worried that the US and China are headed for a long standoff in their costly trade dispute, the AP reports. The broad sell-off, which followed a slide in global markets, placed the benchmark S&P 500 index on track for its third straight weekly loss. Traders sought safety in the bond market, driving bond prices higher, which pulled the yield on the 10-year Treasury to 2.30%, the lowest level in more than a year. The stock market has been highly volatile since Washington and Beijing escalated their dispute over trade earlier this month. The two sides have broken off negotiations and appear set for a long standoff. Investors are concerned a prolonged trade war could stunt economic growth and hurt corporate profits.
Trade-sensitive technology stocks again led the losses. Many tech companies do significant business in China, and the Trump administration's proposed restrictions on technology sales to Chinese companies hit their stocks hard. Apple fell 2.1%, while chipmakers such as Advanced Micro Devices, Broadcom, Qualcomm and Nvidia each dropped by at least 3%. An S&P index that tracks the chip industry's performance has plunged about 16% so far this month amid the heightened trade tensions. Banks also took heavy losses in the sell-off as bond yields fell sharply. Lower yields mean lower interest rates on loans, which makes lending less profitable. JPMorgan dropped 2.5% and Bank of America slid 3%. The Nasdaq composite dropped 1.7% Thursday. The Russell 200 index of small company stocks gave up 2.5%.
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