Stocks Lower Amid More Tariff Worries

(AP) -- U.S. stocks edged lower in early trading Monday amid speculation that the Trump administration is preparing to impose tariffs on another $200 billion-worth of Chinese goods. Technology stocks, retailers and restaurant chains were among the decliners. Energy stocks rose along with crude oil prices.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 5 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,899 as of 10:06 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 17 points, or 0.1 percent, to 26,136. The Nasdaq composite fell 58 points, or 0.7 percent, to 7,951. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gave up 7 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,714.

TARIFF TALK: Weekend reports suggest that President Donald Trump is ready to go through with threats to impose more tariffs on Chinese imports. The Wall Street Journal reported that the tariff level will likely be set at about 10 percent, below the 25 percent announced earlier this year.

At the same time, U.S. officials, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, are preparing to hold new talks on the tariff dispute with Beijing. Envoys met last month in Washington but reported no progress. The two governments have already imposed 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion of each other's goods.

APPETITE LOST: Several restaurant chains were trading lower. McDonald's slid 2.1 percent to $157.39. Darden Restaurants fell 1.1 percent to $117.73. Chipotle Mexican Grill lost 1.1 percent to $486.11.

TWEET THIS: Shares in Twitter fell 3.8 percent to $29.98 after an analyst cut the price target on the social media company.

RELIEVED: Teva Pharmaceutical climbed 4.9 percent to $23.98 after U.S. regulators approved the drugmaker's preventative migraine treatment.

ENERGY: Many of the headlines at the start of the new week have centered on the pair of storms that are hitting opposite ends of the world. Florence is making its way through the U.S. while Mangkhut has moved deeper into southern China. As well as causing death and widespread destruction, they have contributed to a push higher in oil prices.

Benchmark U.S. crude added 0.8 percent to $69.52 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 0.9 percent to $78.77 a barrel in London.

The pickup in oil prices helped lift energy stocks. Hess rose 1.7 percent to $67.18.

BOND YIELDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 3.01 percent from 2.99 percent late Friday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 111.99 yen from 112.03 yen on Friday. The euro strengthened to $1.1691 from $1.1632.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, the DAX in Germany dropped 0.3 percent, while France's CAC 40 and Britain's FTSE 100 were flat. Major indexes in Asia closed mostly lower. South Korea's Kospi fell 0.7 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index tumbled 1.3 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.3 percent. Japanese markets were closed for a national holiday.

(BE)