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Mae Love
April 8, 2018

U.S. stocks dropped about 2 percent on Friday, with the Dow falling more than 570 points, as U.S. President Donald Trump's latest tariff threat on Chinese imports fuelled increasing concern over a U.S. trade war with China.

The list of decliners were similar to Wednesday's, when the United States and China announced tariffs on $50 billion of each others' imports.

Analysts say investors became concerned about escalating trade tensions between world's two biggest economies.

Fed Chair Powell, meanwhile, signalled that the USA central bank still plans to press ahead with additional interest rate hikes in 2018, a stance that also disappointed investors.

Investors also digested a weaker-than-expected jobs report that showed that wage growth remains tepid.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 572.46 points, or 2.3 per cent, to 23,932.76.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 234.05 points, or 0.96 per cent, to 24,271.17.

S&P 500 e-mini futures EScv1 were down 1.4 percent in trading for the overnight session.

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Trump's top economic advisers have sought to temper fears of a trade war, calling the president's actions part of an effort to reach fairer trade terms with China.

Shares of Boeing (BA.N) and Caterpillar (CAT.N), among the worst hit on Wednesday after China retaliated with $50 billion in tariffs on USA goods such as soybeans, autos, and some types of aircraft, rose 1.7 percent and 3 percent.

'These potential trade wars are not good for the market, ' said Stephen Massocca, senior vice president at Wedbush Securities in San Francisco.

Canada's main stock index fell in a broad-based decline that was led by energy and financial shares as renewed U.S. The FTSE 100 in Britain lost 0.2 per cent. The unemployment rate remained low and the job market looks fundamentally healthy, but it's possible some employers are struggling to find workers.

Benchmark U.S. crude dropped $1.48, or 2.3 per cent, to $62.06 a barrel in NY while Brent crude, used to price global oils, lost $1.22, or 1.8 per cent, to $67.11 per barrel in London. The S&P 500 declined 2.2 percent, with industrials as the worst-performing sector.

Investors fretted over how a potential trade fight between the USA and China would impact domestic and global growth.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note settled at 2.830%, up from 2.788% on Wednesday. Natural gas rose 3 cents to $2.70 per 1,000 cubic feet. After a recent check, the 14-day RSI is now at 54.99, the 7-day stands at 66.22, and the 3-day is sitting at 78.29. The euro rose to $1.2287 from $1.2256.

An exception was Facebook, which dropped 0.7 percent after disclosing that data from as many as 87 million users were improperly shared with British political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, far greater than the 50 million previously estimated. Values can range from 0 to -100. This represents a $1.43 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.04%.

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