Dow plummets as much as 500 points after new China tariffs stoke trade war fears

  • US stocks saw more deep losses Wednesday as newly announced China tariffs spooked investors amid escalating fears of a global trade war.
  • Among the equity market's worst-hit industries were energy, industrials, and materials.
  • Follow the Dow Jones industrial average.

US stocks plummeted Wednesday amid reports that China is planning to retaliate against the US in an escalating trade conflict that has investors around the world on edge.

China will impose tariffs on more than 100 American products with a combined trading value of over $50 billion. The nation wasted no time firing back, making their announcement just hours after President Donald Trump made similar proposals on Chinese products.

The more tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 — which has been a lightning rod for market volatility in recent weeks — plunged as much as 2.1%. Meanwhile, the benchmark S&P 500 dropped as much as 1.6%, and the 30-company Dow Jones industrial average at one point slid more than 2.1%, or 510 points.

RELATED: Dow has volatile day on April 2 after Trump slams Amazon

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Dow has volatile day on April 2 as Trump slams Amazon
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 2: A trader works on the floor on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the closing bell, April 2, 2018 in New York City. The Dow Jones industrial average was down nearly 450 points at the close on Monday afternoon. After several Twitter attacks from President Trump, Amazon stocks continued to fall. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 02: A trader pauses outside of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on April 2, 2018 in New York City. In afternoon trading the Dow dropped over 700 points on Monday as global investors fear another trade war with China. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 2: A trader works on the floor on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the closing bell, April 2, 2018 in New York City. The Dow Jones industrial average was down nearly 450 points at the close on Monday afternoon. After several Twitter attacks from President Trump, Amazon stocks continued to fall. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 2: A trader works on the floor on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the closing bell, April 2, 2018 in New York City. The Dow Jones industrial average was down nearly 450 points at the close on Monday afternoon. After several Twitter attacks from President Trump, Amazon stocks continued to fall. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 2: Traders and financial professionals work on the floor on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the closing bell, April 2, 2018 in New York City. The Dow Jones industrial average was down nearly 450 points at the close on Monday afternoon. After several Twitter attacks from President Trump, Amazon stocks continued to fall. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 2: Traders and financial professionals work on the floor on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the closing bell, April 2, 2018 in New York City. The Dow Jones industrial average was down nearly 450 points at the close on Monday afternoon. After several Twitter attacks from President Trump, Amazon stocks continued to fall. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 2: A trader works on the floor on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the closing bell, April 2, 2018 in New York City. The Dow Jones industrial average was down nearly 450 points at the close on Monday afternoon. After several Twitter attacks from President Trump, Amazon stocks continued to fall. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 2: A trader works on the floor on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the closing bell, April 2, 2018 in New York City. The Dow Jones industrial average was down nearly 450 points at the close on Monday afternoon. After several Twitter attacks from President Trump, Amazon stocks continued to fall. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 2: A trader works on the floor on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the closing bell, April 2, 2018 in New York City. The Dow Jones industrial average was down nearly 450 points at the close on Monday afternoon. After several Twitter attacks from President Trump, Amazon stocks continued to fall. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 2: A trader works on the floor on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the closing bell, April 2, 2018 in New York City. The Dow Jones industrial average was down nearly 450 points at the close on Monday afternoon. After several Twitter attacks from President Trump, Amazon stocks continued to fall. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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The S&P 500, in particular, is fighting to climb back above its 200-day moving average, which was breached on a closing basis this week for the first time in 20 months. In addition, all major US indexes face a tough road to recovery since they'll be without their most trusted safety net.

Among the worst-hit industries in the S&P 500 were energy, industrials, and materials. Within the market-lagging energy sector, the weakest-performing companies included Phillips 66 (-3.2%), Newfield Exploration (-3.1%), and Baker Hughes (-2.7%).

Elsewhere in global equity markets, the Shanghai Composite lost 0.2% after climbing as much as 0.9% in early trading, while the Stoxx Europe 600 slipped as much as 1.3%.

In the bond market, the 10-year US Treasury yield fell one basis point, to 2.77%, close to the key 3% level that traders are closely watching. Bank of America Merrill Lynch has said a trade war could move yields higher in the medium-to-long term.

Here's a rundown of other asset classes:

Check out Business Insider's in-depth coverage of the market's recent turbulence:

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Markets

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JPY (per USD) 112.74 0.26 0.23%
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