WALL STREET DOWN, WEAKNESSED BY TAIWAN TENSIONS
by Noel Randewich and Devik Jain
(Reuters) – The New York Stock Exchange closed lower on Tuesday after a choppy session as geopolitical tensions escalated with the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, which took a deep dive in relations between the United States and China plunged unprecedented low.
The Dow Jones index fell 1.23% to 32,396.30 points.
The broader S&P 500 lost 0.66% to 4,091.32 points.
For its part, the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.16% to 12,348.76 points.
Arriving in Taipei earlier in the day, Nancy Pelosi described her visit as a demonstration of US support for Taiwan. China, which considers the island a breakaway province, has denounced a threat to stability and peace.
Giants Microsoft and Visa, down 1.1% and 2.4% respectively, weighed on the S&P 500, whose major sectors all ended down, led by housing, down 1.3%.
Semiconductor makers heavily exposed to the Chinese market ended up in disarray. Advanced Micro Devices rallied 2.6% after the close ahead of the release of its quarterly earnings.
Caterpillar fell 5.8% after expecting a stronger-than-expected drop in demand for its excavators in China, the scene of a housing crisis, a problem contributing to supply chain bottlenecks.
Elevated tensions between Washington and Beijing set an already grim backdrop for financial markets as the war in Ukraine enters its sixth month, inflation soars and monetary conditions tighten.
Data released today by the US Department of Labor shows that job creations in the United States fell in June, the fastest in two years, as demand for labor at retailers slowed.
When the US Federal Reserve (Fed) decided to raise interest rates by 75 basis points in July, investors are trying to determine whether the US Federal Reserve has completed most of the tightening of monetary policy following earlier hikes earlier this year.
Overall, the reporting season has recently supported the most important Wall Street indices better than expected.
Shares in US defense companies including Raytheon Technologies Corp and Lockheed Martin rose between 0.5% and 2.3% as the United States is Taiwan’s top arms supplier. Uber Technologies reported a nearly 19% jump after publishing an upbeat Second-quarter cash flows, a first in the group’s history, saw Pinterest soar more than 11% after it was announced that activist investor Elliott Investment Management became the platform’s majority shareholder.
(French version Jean Terzian)