Fear that the Trump administration will announce tariffs on all remaining imports from China helped knock U.S. stocks from a strong early gain to another sharp loss Monday.
Technology companies sank again after Bloomberg News reported that the U.S. is planning new tariffs if the two sides don't make progress in trade talks next month.
Technology and internet companies, industrials and retailers took steep losses as Wall Street's recent bout of volatility continued. The S&P 500 index has dropped 9.4 percent in October and is on track for its worst monthly loss since February 2009. That was right before the market hit its lowest point during the 2008-09 financial crisis.
U.S. & World
The day's top national and international news.
Bloomberg News reported that the Trump administration will put tariffs on the rest of the country's imports from China if Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping don't make substantial progress in easing the trade dispute next month.
So far the U.S. has placed $250 billion in taxes on imported Chinese goods, about half of all imports from China, and the taxes on most of those goods are set to rise on Jan. 1. The administration has threatened tariffs on the rest. China hiked tariffs on $110 billion in imports from the U.S.
The S&P 500 index fell 17.44 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,641.25.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained as much as 352 points Monday morning but closed down 245.39 points, or 1 percent, to 24,442.92. It fell as much as 566 during the day.
The Nasdaq composite, which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, lost 116.92 points, or 1.6 percent, to 7,050.29. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 6.51 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,447.31.
Stocks have plunged since early October and trading has been especially volatile the last few days.
Among industrials, Boeing sank 6.6 percent to $335.59. Some early gains for tech and internet stocks also faded. Microsoft shed 2.9 percent to $103.85. Alphabet, Google's parent company, lost 4.5 percent to $1,034.73.
Amazon.com dropped another 6.3 percent to $1,538.88. The online retailer tumbled Friday after it reported weak sales and gave a lower-than-expected revenue estimate for the quarter that includes the holiday shopping season. Its stock traded above $2,000 a share in early September and has fallen 24.5 percent since then, its worst decline in two and a half years.
The S&P 500, the main benchmark for the U.S. stock market, has fallen 9.9 percent from its latest record high on Sept. 20. The Nasdaq has plunged 13 percent from its record high reached Aug. 29.
For most of this year investors have remained hopeful that the U.S. and China would work out there disagreements on trade, but in recent weeks they've lost some of their confidence.
Increased tariffs could slow economic growth and increase inflation. The effects could be especially severe for technology companies, which make many of their products in China, and for industrials.