Stocks – Wall Street Opens Lower as Trump Talks Tariffs; Dow Down 425

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Investing.com — U.S. stock markets opened lower Friday, consolidating after record gains in April, hurt by President Donald Trump threatening new tariffs on China in retaliation for the coronavirus crisis. Disappointments from tech giants Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) also weighed.

Trump said late on Thursday his trade deal with China, the first phase having been signed only in January, was now of secondary importance to the pandemic, which he blames Beijing for.

White House NEC Director Larry Kudlow played down the likelihood on tariffs in the near term, saying in a CNBC interview that he doesn’t believe there will be a “rush” to slap China with tariffs, but he wants them to be held accountable.

By 9:40 AM ET (1340 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 425 points, or 1.75%, while the S&P 500 was down 2%. The Nasdaq Composite underperformed, losing 2.1%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 posted their best monthly gains since 1987 in April, and the Nasdaq Composite booked its best month since 2000.

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) stock was down 4.9% after the e-commerce behemoth said it would spend its entire second-quarter profit, seen at around $4 billion, on Covid-19 related expenses. 

CEO Jeff Bezos was unapologetic, saying “if you’re a shareowner in Amazon, you may want to take a seat because we’re not thinking small.”

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock fell 1.8% after failing to provide an earnings forecast given the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus, the first time it has done so in more than a decade. 

Honeywell (NYSE:HON) stock fell 3.7% after the aero supplier became the latest in the sector to pull its 2020 outlook on weak demand.

Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) stock fell 2.8% after posting its first quarterly loss following its 1999 merger, driven by a $2.9 billion charge linked to writedowns from the collapse in oil prices, while rival oil giant Chevron (NYSE:CVX) stock fell 2.2% pledging to further slash spending.

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