Investing.com – Wall Street was mixed on Monday, as President Donald Trump said he would re-impose tariffs on steel and aluminum from Brazil and Argentina and renewed his attacks on the Federal Reserve, urging it to cut interest rates again to weaken the dollar.
The unexpected tweet from Trump was a stark reminder that the administration remains wedded to the use of tariffs, a tactic that many companies cited as a reason for falling profits and narrower margins in the latest earnings season.
The outburst overshadowed generally positive economic data from around the world earlier. IHS Markit's purchasing manager indices came out higher than expected in most countries, not least in the U.S., where the index rose to 52.6 from 52.2 in October. The ISM manufacturing index, however, fell to 48.1 from 48.3, disappointing hopes for an improvement.
"The concern here is what kind of retaliatory response those countries might have, let alone sort of a re-escalation of these tariff wars in the midst of trying to resolve one," said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia.
The Dow was down 17 points or 0.1% by 9:46 AM ET (13:46 GMT), while the S&P 500 fell 5 points or 0.2% and the Nasdaq composite lost 29 points or 0.3%.
Retail stocks were in focus during Cyber Monday sales after online sales hit a record on Black Friday. Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) Analytics predicts spending to hit another record of $9.4 billion today thanks to Cyber Monday promotions.
Walmart (NYSE:WMT)slipped 0.3%, while Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) was up 0.2% and Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) declined 0.6%.
Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) slumped 13.5% on an analyst downgrade, while Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) fell 5%.
In commodities, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was down 0.1% to 98.075 and gold futures slipped 0.5% to $1,465.25 a troy ounce. Crude oil futures surged 2.2% to $56.39 a barrel.
-Reuters contributed to this report