Last week was the worst of the year for stocks, and things got even uglier on Monday as the market reacted to China's retaliatory tariffs and the prospects for a longer trade war than previously expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^SPX) both dropped about 2.4%, and the latter had its worst session since early January.
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As for individual stocks, Boeing (NYSE:BA) fell on worries over trade and the 737 MAX, while Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (NYSE:TEVA) tumbled after it and other companies were named in a price-fixing lawsuit.
Boeing loses altitude
Shares of Boeing fell 4.9% after investors were rattled by concerns over trade with China, as well as a report that suggested that grounded 737 MAX planes won't be airborne until after the summer travel season.
According to The Wall Street Journal (subscription required), U.S. regulators will be reviewing Boeing's software fix for the automated flight-control system in time for a May 23 safety meeting with international regulators. But final approval by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) may come weeks after the meeting and may depend on the outcome of reviews by foreign regulators. Boeing will need time to implement the changes, government tests of those changes haven't been scheduled yet, and airlines need time to put grounded aircraft into service. That all adds up to mid-August, at the earliest, before the planes are in the air.
Negative trade news was also weighing on the stock. China sometimes uses aircraft orders as a bargaining chip, but the country's huge need for aircraft, along with Airbus' inability to capitalize on Boeing's problems, means the issue is likely temporary.
Teva and others sued by 44 states
Shares of Teva Pharmaceutical tumbled 14.8% on news that the company and 19 other makers of generic drugs are being sued by the attorneys general of 44 states for allegedly fixing the prices of generic drugs over a period primarily between 2012 and 2015.
The lawsuit singles out Teva, but also names more than a dozen other companies, including Novartis unit Sandoz, Mylan, and Pfizer. The lawsuit alleges that the manufacturers conspired to fix prices, allocate markets, and rig bids for more than 100 generic drugs, and seeks damages and civil penalties. The press release by Connecticut Attorney General William Tong says that the states have hard evidence of fraud.
Teva's stock was already under pressure due to massive debt from an acquisition and looming competition for its lead drug Copaxone, and investors today were considering the impact of a potential multibillion-dollar fine on top of those woes.