Just five components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average were on track for May gains as of Thursday afternoon trading, yet another reflection of the effect the U.S.-China trade war is having on Wall Street.
UnitedHealth, Pfizer, Travelers, Merck and McDonald's were the only stocks of the Dow 30 in positive territory for the month as of noon Thursday, with the broader index well on its way toward its first month of losses in 2019. Dow, 3M, Intel, Caterpillar and Apple, the worst performers in May, were each down at least 11% for the month on May 30.
The blue-chip Dow has shed more than 1,400 points (5.5%) during the month as a breakdown in trade relations between Washington and Beijing triggered the implementation of new import tariffs by both nations.
The Trump administration has also barred American tech firms — as well as overseas allies — from working with Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.
China has in turn made veiled threats to curb its exports of rare earth metals to the U.S., a move that could potentially cripple high-tech firms like cellphone and electric car makers.
Those developments have sent shockwaves reverberating across Wall Street as fears of a global economic slowdown sent traders fleeing from companies with significant Chinese sales exposure.