U.S. stocks are lower Thursday as investors again worry about the potential effects of the U.S.-China trade dispute. German automaker Daimler lowered its annual profit forecast, partly because of higher import taxes on U.S.-made vehicles in China. Industrial companies are taking more losses. Energy companies are falling along with oil prices and online retailers are skidding after the Supreme Court ruled that states can force online shoppers to pay sales tax.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index slid 14 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,752 as of 2:55 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average was on track for its eighth loss in a row as it fell 162 points, or 0.7 percent, to 24,495. The index is down about 3 percent over that time. Its last eight-day losing streak was in March 2017. The Nasdaq composite lost 54 points, or 0.7 percent, to 7,726. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks declined 13 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,693. The Nasdaq and Russell 2000 both closed at record highs Wednesday.
TRADE TALK: Daimler is projecting fewer SUV sales and higher costs for Mercedes-Benz cars as a result of Chinese tariffs on cars made in the U.S. The company now says its earnings before interest and taxes will fall slightly this year after it had forecast a small increase in earnings. Its stock fell 4.3 percent in Germany.
Other automakers also slipped. GM lost 2.5 percent to $40.91 and Fiat Chrysler sank 5.5 percent to $19.25. Industrial companies were also battered. Boeing lost 1.3 percent to $338.30 and Caterpillar lost 2 percent to $140.26. Along with the Dow’s losing streak, the industrial index of the S&P 500 is down 4.9 percent over the last month, worse than any other part of the index except for energy companies. The S&P 500 is up 0.7 percent over that time.
Industrial companies are especially vulnerable in the U.S.’ ongoing trade dispute with several other countries, as they will have to pay more for the steel and aluminum they use. Other countries might put tariffs on those companies’ finished products, which could also hurt sales.
ENERGY: Energy companies skidded as investors expect OPEC to agree to a production increase at a meeting on Friday. Greater production reduces oil prices, and that has been weighing on energy stocks in recent weeks. Chevron fell 2.2 percent to $122.57 and Marathon Oil dropped 4.8 percent to $20.05.
U.S. crude dripped 0.3 percent to $65.54 a barrel in New York and Brent crude, the international standard for oil prices, lost 2.3 percent to $73.05 a barrel in London.
Wholesale gasoline lost 0.6 percent to $2.01 a gallon. Heating oil fell 1.8 percent to $2.07 a gallon. Natural gas rose 0.4 percent to $2.98 per 1,000 cubic feet.
TAXED: Online retailers dropped following the Supreme Court ruling, and companies that depend more on physical stores traded higher. Under old rules, companies were not required to collect sales tax on online purchases that were made in a state where the company did not have a physical presence, such as a warehouse or office. States argued that those rules deprived them of billions of dollars in tax revenue, and traditional retailers said online sellers had an unfair advantage.
Overstock.com lost 7.1 percent to $36.20 and arts and crafts marketplace Etsy slipped 1.8 percent to $43.43. Home goods site Wayfair gave up 1.4 percent to $114.55 while Amazon lost 0.8 percent to $1,735.99. Target gained 1.4 percent to $76.44 and Nordstrom added 2 percent to $52.88.
INTEL CEO OUT: Intel fell 2 percent to $52.39 after its CEO resigned. The world’s largest chipmaker said CEO Brian Krzanich is stepping down after the company learned he had a relationship with an employee. Intel said the relationship was consensual, but violated a policy that bars managers from having relationships with employees. Krzanich had been Intel’s CEO since 2013 and Chief Financial Officer Robert Swan will be interim CEO while Intel searches for a replacement.
EARNINGS: Kroger climbed 9.9 percent to $28.77 after it posted strong results in the first quarter and made a small increase to its annual profit forecast. Darden Restaurants, the parent of the Olive Garden chain, jumped 15.2 percent to $107.44 after it surpassed Wall Street expectations in its fiscal fourth quarter.
BONDS: Bond prices climbed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.90 percent from 2.94 percent. That helped stocks that pay big dividends including utilities and real estate investment trusts.
METALS: Gold shed 0.3 percent to $1,270.50 an ounce. Silver edged up 0.1 percent to $16.33 an ounce. Copper slid 0.6 percent to $3.02 a pound.
CURRENCY: The dollar fell to 109.90 yen from 110.40 yen. The euro rose to $1.1617 from $1.1587.
OVERSEAS: The German DAX dropped 1.4 percent after Daimler’s warning. France’s CAC 40 lost 1 percent and Britain’s FTSE 100 gave up 0.9 percent after its central bank indicated it could raise rates this summer.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index finished up 0.6 percent and the Kospi in South Korea dropped 1 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.4 percent.
AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/marley%20jay