August 30, 2018 / 12:09 PM / a year ago

Wall St. rally ends as risk-selling grows on rising tariff fears

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks ended their four-day winning streak on Thursday as risk reduction ahead of the long holiday weekend accelerated on growing trade anxieties.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 28, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The broad-based sell-off steepened in mid-afternoon following a Bloomberg report that U.S. President Donald Trump wants to impose proposed tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports as early as next week, sooner than many expected.

The CBOE Volatility Index .VIX, a gauge of investor expectations for near-term volatility, rose to a near two-week high in a low-volume, pre-holiday session, closing at 13.53.

“When you have low volume, it’s harder for the market to absorb strong buying or selling pressure,” said Shawn Cruz, manager of trader strategy at TD Ameritrade in Jersey City, New Jersey. “We still have (trade) headlines coming out on a daily basis.”

The Bloomberg report coincided with continuing efforts by Canada and the United States to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) ahead of a Friday deadline.

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) shares closed at a record high, rising 0.9 percent following news that it would unveil its latest iPhones on Sept. 12. (AMZN.O) stock rose 0.2 percent, closing above $2,000 for the first time and edging the company closer to becoming the second U.S. company after Apple to reach $1 trillion in market value.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 137.65 points, or 0.53 percent, to 25,986.92, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 12.91 points, or 0.44 percent, to 2,901.13 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 21.32 points, or 0.26 percent, to 8,088.36.

Of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, only utilities .SPLRCU advanced.

Campbell Soup Co (CPB.N) shares dipped 2.1 percent after it announced plans to sell its international and fresh refrigerated-foods units and left open the possibility of putting the whole company up for sale.

Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch Co (ANF.N) plunged 17.2 percent after the apparel retailer missed quarterly same-store sales estimates.

Discount retailers Dollar Tree Inc (DLTR.O) and Dollar General Corp (DG.N) were down 15.5 percent and 1.0 percent, respectively, after both gave disappointing profit outlooks on margin worries.

In economic news, the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge, the core PCE price index, posted a 2 percent year-on-year increase, hitting the central bank’s target and boosting the likelihood of additional rate hikes this year.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.84-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.36-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 31 new 52-week highs and 1 new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 103 new highs and 39 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 5.99 billion shares, compared with the 6.09 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

Reporting by Stephen Culp; Editing by Dan Grebler

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