US stocks lower on escalating US-China trade dispute

BA stock

Another flare-up in trade tensions between the USA and China sent the stock market sharply lower for the second time this week. It fell modestly for the week. Leading the decline were airplane giant Boeing, which fell 3.1%, and heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar, which declined 3.5%.

Beijing hit back against US plans to impose tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods, retaliating with a list of similar duties on key American imports including soybeans, planes, cars, beef and chemicals.

The Dow recovered some of its worse losses to end down 2.3 percent at 23,932. The implied opens for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq also sits deep in the red. The Nasdaq composite added 0.5 percent to 7,076.55.

"China's response could embolden Trump to push for broader USA tariffs, escalating trade tensions further". The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks dipped 29.63 points, or 1.9 percent, to 1,513.30. Aerospace company Boeing shed $14.07, or 4.3 percent, to $316.75.

But technology companies.SPLRCT erased their losses to trade flat, helped by Apple (AAPL.O) entering positive territory.

A barrel of US crude fell $1.28, or 2 percent, to $62.23 a barrel in NY while Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, fell $.05, or 1.5 percent, to $67.07 a barrel in London.

The S&P 500 fell 56 points, or 2.1 percent, to 2,607. Johnson & Johnson sank $2.99, or 2.3 percent, to $127.72 and health insurer UnitedHealth dropped $59, or 2.6 percent, to $223.18. Most other Asian indexes had closed when China announced its response to the US tariff plans.

Technology companies, banks and industrial stocks were falling the most in midday trading Friday. Natural gas rose 3 cents to $2.70 per 1,000 cubic feet.

The stock market has changed direction again and again this week as investors tried to get a sense of whether a trade dispute between the two nations will escalate.

The Trump administration on Tuesday released a list of 1,300 imported Chinese products, including industrial robots and telecoms gear, subject to potential tariffs to protest Beijing's alleged theft of USA technology. The index is now down for the week.

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As worries about the tension between the US and China intensify, The Dow plunged once again on Friday, with sharp losses that went as high as 710 points.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed down 148.64 points, or 0.97 peR cent, at 15,207.41.

The yield on the 10-year US Treasury note, which has been steadily climbing as investors' inflation expectations rise, dipped to 2.78% after the jobs report.

However Adams said that there was good news for food producers, as the Chinese government proposed duties on imported beef, but not pork or chicken.

Industrial companies were especially hard hit by the escalation in trade tensions Friday.

Negative sentiment was also generated by a report from the Labor Department showing U.S. job growth slowed by much more than anticipated in the month of March.

Employers added 103,000 jobs in March, which is weaker than the last few months.

The FTSE has fallen from 7200 following a 0.2 percent decline, while the situation was slightly more severe in the Eurozone, with the CAC and DAX dropping 0.5 percent and 0.7 percent respectively.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 152 points, or 0.6 percent, to 24,347. The price of gold jumped 0.7 percent, to $1,347.20 an ounce.

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