March 14, 2018 / 3:57 PM / 3 months ago

US STOCKS-Dow sheds 250 pts as trade war worries weigh on industrials

* Feb. retail sales fall 0.1 pct vs est rise of 0.3 pct

* Dow down 1.03 pct, S&P 0.46 pct, Nasdaq 0.32 pct (Changes comment, adds details, updates prices)

By Sruthi Shankar

March 14 (Reuters) - The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed more than 250 points on Wednesday as U.S. manufacturers continued to suffer from concerns over the impact of new tariffs on trade.

Boeing’s 4 percent fall contributed to about 100 points drop in the blue-chip index, with traders citing continuing fallout from Tuesday’s reports that U.S. President Donald Trump could impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports.

“Governments in general are in a wait-and-see mode to find out what is going to be the outcome of the negotiations,” said Paul Springmeyer, investment managing director at U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management.

The Trump administration is pressing China to cut its trade surplus with the United States by $100 billion, a White House spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

“There’s every situation that’s being looked at now, whether it’s tariffs or not with a new eye, in terms of how one would deal with United States moving forward.”

Major U.S. manufacturers have been the heaviest hit since Trump trailered and then announced tariffs on steel and aluminum imports earlier this month.

The issue overshadowed China’s report that its factory output grew much faster than expected at the start of the year, suggesting the world’s second largest economy may be picking up speed.

By 11:51 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 257.31 points, or 1.03 percent, at 24,749.72. The S&P 500 fell 0.46 percent to 2,752.71 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.32 percent to 7,487.06.

The third straight monthly fall in retail sales pointed to slowing U.S. growth but cooled concerns of Federal Reserve raising interest rates at a faster pace in 2018.

Following the data, J.P. Morgan analysts lowered their first-quarter gross domestic product growth estimate to 2 percent from 2.5 percent.

Financial stocks fell 0.37 percent, tracking a decline in U.S. bond yields on the back of soft retail sales data.

Shares of department store operators Kohl’s fell 2.9 percent, while Macy’s and Nordstrom dropped more than 1 percent.

Shares in Qualcomm fell about 3 percent and those in rival Broadcom declined 0.5 percent after the Singapore-based chipmaker formally withdrew its bid for Qualcomm Inc but said it would pursue other targets.

Signet Jewelers fell about 17 percent after the company reported lower same-store sales in the fourth quarter.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,454 to 1,293. On the Nasdaq, 1,506 issues fell and 1,197 advanced. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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