Wall Street is no fan of Tariff Man.
The stock market stumbled Friday to its first losing month of 2019 in May, primarily due to President Donald Trump's decision to broadly wield his tariff powers, first against China over trade and then against Mexico over immigration.
During stocks' month-long slide investors wrestled with the potential impact that the U.S.'s escalating trade war with China could have on corporate and economic growth. Friday's losses came after Trump announced plans via Twitter to impose tariffs on Mexico in a bid to compel the nation's third-biggest trading partner to crack down on migrants attempting to enter the U.S.
The move shocked investors and spurred a broad sell-off that sliced more than 350 points from the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The selling left the benchmark S&P 500 index 6.6% lower for the month, and up 9.8% for the year so far.
"Clearly the markets were blindsided and completely caught off guard," said Cliff Hodge, director of investments for Cornerstone Wealth.
The trade conflicts have also clouded the global economic outlook, with many economists now forecasting U.S. growth to weaken in the coming months. That's likely to weigh on corporate profits this year.
"What you had over the last few days really is an increase in global uncertainty, and the economic data has been poor and weakening," said Tom Martin, senior portfolio manager with Globalt Investments. "With rising costs as a result of tariffs and rising uncertainty, that's definitely going to have a damper on earnings."
The S&P 500 index fell 36.80 points, or 1.3%, to 2,752.06. It's the first time the S&P 500 has dropped for four straight weeks since autumn 2014.
The Dow lost 354.84 points, or 1.4%, to 24,815.04. The Nasdaq slid 114.57 points, or 1.5%, to 7,453.15. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gave up 20.04 points, or 1.4%, to 1,465.49.
Major stock indexes in Europe also fell.