Markets Right Now: Stocks plunge on worries over trade

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Trade war fears heightened after China responded to U.S. President Donald Trump's plan on Thursday to put tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese goods by announcing plans of its own to hit up to $3 billion of U.S. imports with tariffs.

North American markets closed significantly lower on Friday, failing to bounce back from steep losses this week as concerns about the start of a potential global trade war between the world's two biggest economies intensified selling in the final hour of trading.

Stocks are plunging, sending the Dow Jones industrials down 700 points, as investors fear that trade tensions will spike between the US and China.

The Dow Jones Industrial stock index, one of the most significant indicators of U.S. financial health, suffered a 425 point loss on Friday after shedding 700 points the day before.

The S&P 500 turned negative for the year, tumbling 2.5% to 2,643.69, while the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 2.4% to end at 7,166.68. The Nasdaq fell 174 points, or 2.4 percent, to 6,992.

Oil service, pharmaceutical, transportation, and chemical stocks also moved notably lower amid broad based weakness on Wall Street.

Investors have anxious about rising trade tensions after the administration announced tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. On Thursday construction equipment maker Caterpillar fell $4.70, or 3 percent, to $151.10 and aerospace company Boeing slid $10.64, or 3.2 percent, to $326.46. They have made enormous gains over the a year ago, but since they do so much business outside the USA, investors see them as particularly vulnerable to the effects of a trade dispute. "Trade has now end up being the largest macro motif", composes Ivan Feinseth, primary market planner of Tigress Financial.

The Dow plummeted 723.4 points to close at its lowest level since Feb 8.

"Industrials and commodities are likely to slump if this continues, so the materials and energy sectors will be hit hard". Germany's DAX lost 1.7 percent and the CAC 40 in France shed 1.4 percent. Trump himself has tweeted, saying trade wars are "good", and "easy to win".

Major indexes saw their biggest one-day drops since February 8 on Thursday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-poised-to-drop-by-more-than-100-points-2018-03-22). The contract shed 87 cents, or 1.3 percent, to close at $64.30 a barrel in NY. Exactly how around the opportunity China reducing its acquisitions of U.S. Treasuries- simply when purchasers may be most required? That's down 424 points, or 1.8 percent from Thursday's close. The move implies interest rates will not rise as fast as expected, crimping bank profits. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, rose 92 cents to $69.30 a barrel in London.

The Dow lost 5.7 percent this week, leaving it nearly 5 percent below the level where it was before Congress passed Trump's sweeping tax overhaul in late December. Gold climbed $22.50, or 1.7 per cent, to $1,349.90 an ounce and silver gained 20 cents, or 1.2 per cent, to $16.58 an ounce.

The dollar fell to 105.61 yen from 106.10 yen.

Wholesale gasoline remained at $2.01 a gallon. The euro rose to $1.2307 from $1.2332. RBS fell 1.4 per cent and Lloyds Bank ended down 1.6 per cent.

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