Stocks closed broadly lower on Wall Street Tuesday as tensions between the U.S. and China flared ahead of negotiations aimed at resolving the costly trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.
The sell-off, which accelerated in the last hour of regular trading, knocked more than 300 points off the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Technology companies, banks and health care stocks bore the brunt of the selling, which stretched the market’s losses further into a fourth week.
The market slide began after the U.S. blacklisted a group of Chinese companies, claiming that their technology plays a role in the repression of China’s Muslim minority groups. The State Department also imposed restrictions on visas for Chinese officials.
The moves cast more doubt on whether Washington and Beijing will find a resolution to their long-running and economically damaging trade conflict. Envoys from the U.S. and China are scheduled to meet in Washington on Thursday for another round of trade talks.
The S&P 500 index lost 45.73 points, or 1.6%, to 2,893.06. The Dow slid 313.98 points, or 1.2%, to 26,164.04. The Nasdaq, which is heavily weighted with technology companies, dropped 132.52 points, or 1.7%, to 7,823.78.
Smaller company stocks were also big decliners, sending the Russell 2000 index down 25.19 points, or 1.7%, to 1,472.60.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.53% from 1.55% late Monday, a signal that investors favored lower-risk investments amid the trade war turmoil. Utilities and real estate companies, both safe-play sectors, held up better than the rest of the market, though they also ended the day in the red.