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Dow, S&P dogged by growth worries; techs help Nasdaq bounce



(Reuters) – Wall Street dropped on Monday, led by Apple Inc, financials and healthcare stocks, falling further after its biggest slide since March last week on worries over global growth, the China-U.S. trade war and uncertainty over the Brexit deal.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 10, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The benchmark S&P 500 and the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average, already in the red for the year after last week’s slide of more than 4.5 percent, fell another 0.5-0.6 percent, while the Nasdaq moved marginally higher.

Apple fell 1.7 percent after Qualcomm Inc said it had won a preliminary order from a Chinese court banning the import and sale of several iPhone models in China due to patent violations.

Ten of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, led by a 1.4-percent drop in financials on expectations that the Federal Reserve would be less aggressive with monetary policy next year.

Energy stocks retreated 1.5 percent as oil prices fell, with the health care index also down about 1 percent.

“What you are looking at is drivers. Not a whole lot has changed from last week, but what has changed is the value of equities,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR in New York.

“We don’t have a whole lot of catalysts this week. That’s why we would pay more attention than not to news from the administration on trade and the Huawei CFO.”

Wall Street continues to be dogged by signs of cooling growth and worries that escalating tensions between the United States and China could scuttle their fragile trade truce.

Washington has set a March 1 “hard deadline” to successfully wrap up talks with Beijing over their trade spat, failing which a higher tariff rate will kick in, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Sunday.

That comes when investors are fretting that the arrest of a top Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] executive at the behest of the United States could inflame tensions with China, though both the White House and Chinese state media have said the arrest and trade talks are separate events.

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday made an abrupt decision to pull a parliamentary vote, scheduled for Tuesday, on her Brexit deal.

At 10:14 a.m. ET, the Dow was down 149.20 points, or 0.61 percent, at 24,239.75, the S&P 500 was down 11.91 points, or 0.45 percent, at 2,621.17 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 10.97 points, or 0.16 percent, at 6,980.23.

Helping the Nasdaq, was a 0.3-percent gain in technology stocks, despite Apple’s drop. Qualcomm rose 3.3 percent, while Microsoft Corp and Intel Corp rose more than 1 percent.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.35-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.55-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded no new 52-week highs and 72 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded two new highs and 189 new lows.

Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila