According to CNBC, Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Gao Feng on Friday didn't mention any specific moves made by the US. However, the Commerce Department last week put Chinese smartphone maker Huawei Technologies on a list that would bar it from doing business with American companies.
Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Bank of New York researchers said the increased tariffs imposed on Chinese goods by the US may end up costing each American household more than $800 a year.
Energy shares led the nine of the 11 Standard & Poor's 500 sectors lower, dropping more than 3.1% on falling crude-oil prices. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures fell 5% to $58.18 a barrel while international benchmark Brent crude oil futures dropped 4% to $67.94.
Oil blue chips Chevron (CVX) and Exxon Mobil (XOM) fell 2.2% and 2.3%, respectively. Hess (HES) dropped more than 7.9% while Devon Energy (DVN) lost 7.3%. Noble Energy (NBL) slid 6.9%.
Tech shares lost more than 1.7%. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) lost 3.8%, while Qualcomm (QCOM) fell 1.5% and Micron Technology (MU) lost more than 2.6%.
United Technologies (UTX) fell 3.7 while Dow (DOW) lost 3% as the bellwethers dragged the industrial sector nearly 1.6% lower. General Electric (GE) lost 3.4%.
Utilities shares, predominantly seen as defensive investments, gained more than 0.8%. AES (AES) rose 1.5% while Duke Energy (DUK) advanced 1.2%. Ameren (AEE) rose 1.1%.
Medtronic (MDT) gained 3.2% as the medical-device maker posted better-than-expected quarterly results.
In economic news, government data showed sales of new single-family homes in the US were lower than expected in April and the number of Americans filing initial claims for unemployment insurance last week unexpectedly slowed.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.1% and the S&P 500 lost nearly 1.2%. The Nasdaq Composite fell almost 1.6%.
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