Stocks end lower on Wall Street, fed signals growing worries over economy

U.S. stocks ended lower Monday on Wall Street after a further selloff in tech shares. Investors showed fresh signs of frustration with Donald Trump’s simmering trade conflict with China, ratcheting up the U.S. tariff war with Beijing.

Stocks have traded in a tight range in recent days.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.6 percent to 25,213.11. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 1.3 percent to 2,728.27, while the Nasdaq composite gave up 1.5 percent to 7,612.47.

Investors took profits following a rally that took the S&P 500 and Nasdaq to record highs last week. The Dow opened down 140 points Monday morning, before falling further. Banks fell the most.

Apple fell 4.4 percent, leading the S&P 500’s technology stocks lower. Tesla was up more than 2 percent, rebounding from Friday’s plunge on growing doubts about whether Elon Musk can hold on to his job as chief executive.

Investors have been watching the U.S.-China trade war closely this year. President Donald Trump last week signed legislation allowing him to increase tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports. China has vowed to retaliate.

Optimism about a resolution in the trade war have made the market more volatile of late. Over the past three months, the Dow has traded in a 1,475-point range.

U.S. stock futures fell as much as 2 percent Monday morning, pointing to a turbulent trading session on Wall Street.

The drop came as a report showed a surge in housing starts in November. The building boom points to a pickup in economic growth at the end of the year and signals to investors that the housing market is on the mend.

But data released later in the day showed that consumer confidence fell in December for the first time in nine months.

The report from the Conference Board was the latest in a string of numbers to show a pullback in consumer sentiment since early November.

Homebuilders shed after the November report. Lennar fell 1.8 percent and PulteGroup fell 2.5 percent.

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