Investing.com – Wall Street fell on Wednesday as fears grew over possible trade war escalation between the U.S. and China after reports that Washington could blacklist more Chinese companies.
The S&P 500 fell 9 points or 0.3% by 9:44 AM ET (13:44 GMT), while the Dow lost 90 points or 0.4% and tech-heavy Nasdaq composite was down 22 points or 0.3%.
The news comes after the U.S. eased restrictions on Chinese tech giant Huawei in response to concerns that banning the company from buying American products could have negative consequences across the broader technology sector.
The U.S. is looking at similar restrictions on other companies, including Chinese video surveillance company Hikvision, according to Bloomberg and the New York Times.
Investors are worried such a move could lead to more retaliation from China.
"What investors are looking at is the fact that this could be another retaliation," said Kim Forrest, chief investment officer at Bokeh Capital Partners in Pittsburgh. "The negotiations have been more of a tit-for-tat than actual conversation."
Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) was among the hardest hit after the opening bell, slumping 9.6% after a federal judge ruled its cellphone practices violated antitrust laws.
Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) fell 1.4%, while Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) fell 0.8% and Micron (NASDAQ:MU) slipped 1.1%.
Elsewhere, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) rose 0.4%, while Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) gained 0.7% and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) was up 2.9%.
Retailers were in focus after mixed earnings. Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW) was down 9.9% after slashing its yearly forecast, while Target (NYSE:TGT) rose 7.4% after first-quarter figures burnished by extremely strong online sales growth.
The Federal Reserve will release minutes from its May 1 meeting at 2:00 PM ET (19:00 GMT).
In commodities, gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,274.75 a troy ounce, while crude oil slumped 1% to $62.48. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was flat at 97.873.
-Reuters contributed to this report.