Value lost in Monday's US stock rout exceeds annual China imports

The S&P 500 capped its second-worst session of the year following growing anxieties over a full-fledged trade war with China. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - Here's another perspective on how much the trade standoff is sinking the market: The dollar value S&P 500 stocks lost in a single day as the sell-off accelerated was more than the US imports from China in an entire year.

The US buys everything from from electronic equipment to machinery to furniture and footwear from Beijing, with imports totaling US$539 billion in 2018. The S&P 500's 2.4 per cent slide on Monday (May 13) wiped out US$600 billion (S$822 billion) of market value.

The rush to get out of US stocks entered its second week on Monday as anxiety grew that a full-fledged trade war with China will erode profits and crimp corporate margins. The S&P 500 capped its second-worst session of the year. The benchmark gauge is down 4.5 per cent since May 3 after US President Donald Trump unexpectedly ratcheted up a trade conflict that was largely thought to be nearing a resolution.

In another trade-related coincidence, Monday's US$600 billion S&P 500 market-cap wipeout exceeds the current US account deficit, a measure of the difference in the value of goods and services it imports versus exports. That reached US$488.5 billion, or 2.4 per cent of gross domestic product in 2018, up from US$449.1 billion a year earlier.

Looking at it from an index level, the S&P 500's rout wiped out more than the combined value of its smallest 77 members. Together, they're worth US$595 billion. It's also about the size of Facebook Inc, America's fifth-largest company at US$518 billion in market cap, and Lowe's Cos, the third-largest member of the S&P 500 Retailing Industry Index, combined.

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