Stocks got smoked Friday as fears of a trade war spiked.
The Dow fell more than 600 points around 2 p.m. Eastern.
US stocks tumbled Friday, with the Dow Jones industrial average falling more than 700 points, or about 3 percent, as fears of a global trade war continued to mount.
President Donald Trump on Thursday said that "in light of China's unfair retaliation" to proposed US tariffs on $50 billion worth of imports from the country, he had instructed the office of the US Trade Representative to "consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate."
Responding on Friday, China's Ministry of Commerce said it would immediately retaliate if the US imposed the sanctions. It said the country would not rule out any options.
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To make things worse, the US economy added fewer jobs than expected in March, according to a government report released Friday morning. The economy saw the addition 103,000 nonfarm jobs as the unemployment rate held at 4.1 percent, its lowest since 2000.
Industrial stocks were some of the hardest hit among the Dow's 30 companies, with Caterpillar, Boeing, and General Electric all down more than 3 percent. Outside of the Dow, US Steel also took a somewhat counterintuitive nosedive, despite the possible boost from metals tariffs.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index shed 2.6 percent Friday, dragged down by Amazon, which fell after another Twitter attack by Trump. Facebookalso slumped as the company remained embroiled in the data privacy scandal surrounding the firm Cambridge Analytica.
Outside of equity markets, US Treasury yields declined five basis points, to 2.78 percent and West Texas benchmark crude oil fell 2.9 percent to $61.88 per barrel.
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