May 13, 2019

Central Mass. stocks take hit as U.S.-China trade war escalates

Photo | Grant Welker
The Oxford headquarters of IPG Photonics

Several publicly traded companies in Central Massachusetts saw their stock prices decline Monday as China announced retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods.

Oxford laser manufacturer IPG Photonics, which has referenced the escalating trade war with China in its financial reporting, opened trading on the Nasdaq down more than 5%.

This halts what was a strong April for IPG's stock, as it gained 15% last month. The company's stock has not traded above $182 since falling from $235 to $170 last summer when the company said tariffs were eating into its business in China.

China's tariffs on U.S. goods come after the U.S. increased tariffs on Chinese goods from 10% to 25% last week. China said it will raise taxes on U.S. goods from 5% to 10% to as high as 25% beginning June 1.

The Nasdaq as a whole is down 2.5%, and the Dow is down more than 500 points, or 2%.

Also down considerably was Maynardnetworking technology company Acacia Communications, which cites Chinese technology company ZTE as its largest customer. The stock opened on the Nasdaq down more than 5%.

In a conference call with investors earlier this month, Acacia Communications' Chief Financial Officer John Gavin said while the company continues to monitor U.S.-China trade talks, the company didn't expect previous tariffs to have an impact on its 2019 guidance.

Natick machine vision systems manufacturer Cognex Corp., which has also cited tariffs in financial filings, was down nearly 5% Monday. The company said China accounted for more than 15% of its 2019 revenue.

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