- Trade still on the minds of investors, but Wall Street mostly up early in the session as Dow Jones inches lower
- President Donald Trump ready to introduce tariffs on nearly all imports from China as trade deficit widens
- Apple and Ford say tariffs will hit products, bottom line, and wider economy as Trump urges them to move manufacturing back home
Wall Street was mostly up on Monday despite the US-China trade conflict again being high on the agenda for investors. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 both logged gains early in the session, but the Dow Jones did slip back 0.03% to 25,910.
US President Donald Trump doubled down on trade threats over the weekend as he outlined plans to bring in levies for effectively all of China’s imports. Over the weekend, new data showed China’s trade surplus hit a record of $31bn for August, suggesting the tit-for-tat battle has done little to achieve the aims set out by the Trump administration.
Apple said the latest proposed tariffs could have a financial impact on a selection of its products, but Trump hit back by urging the tech giant to move manufacturing back to the US in order to give the latest levies a wide berth. Reports suggest the Apple Watch and a range of accessories are likely to be hit in the coming months.
Trump also stated similar sentiments to Ford, but the car manufacturer said it would not build its Focus Active hatchback model stateside and will continue to import from China. A statement from Ford added: “It would not be profitable to build the Focus Active in the US given an expected annual sales volume of fewer than 50,000 units.”
Ford shares inched 1.2% higher on Monday, but Apple fell 1% after Trump continued his tirade by warning consumers they may have to fork out extra for the company’s line of flagship iPhones when the next round of tariffs come into effect. Trump is expected to give the go-ahead for fresh levies very soon.
Apple did not confirm whether its smartphones or tablet range would be affected by the tariffs but did say the latest ratcheting-up in tensions would have a negative impact on business and the wider economy. The firm said: “Our concern with these tariffs is that the US will be hardest hit and that will result in lower US growth and competitiveness and higher prices for US consumers.”
Snap Inc. went into the red on Monday after the company confirmed the departure of Chief Strategy Officer Imran Khan, who is pursuing other career opportunities. The parent company of social media app Snapchat has been hit with several departures during the last 12 months. Shares fell 2.5%.
United Rentals Inc. saw a 5.3% uptick after it confirmed plans to acquire BlueLine Rental, an equipment rental enterprise, in a deal worth $2.5bn. Engility Holdings Inc. headed in the other direction after being brought out by Science Applications International Corp.
Fred’s Inc. was the biggest mover, soaring 62.6% as Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. swooped in to acquire files and inventory in hundreds of stores across 10 southeastern states. Finally, CBS retreated by 3.4% as the fallout over the resignation of CEO Les Moonves amid allegations of sexual harassment rumbled on. Joseph Ianniello will take over the role on an interim basis.