Fred Imbert and Alexandra Gibbs, CNBC
Stocks dropped Friday after the Trump administration said it will impose a 25 percent charge on up to $50 billion in Chinese goods.
The Dow fell more than 200 points, with Caterpillar and Boeing lagging. The S&P 500 dropped 0.4 percent as tech and industrials fell. The Nasdaq shed 0.35 percent.
In a statement Friday, President Donald Trump said the measures would affect Chinese goods “that contain industrially significant technologies,” without specifying those products. He added that the action comes “in light of China’s theft of intellectual property and technology and its other unfair trade practices.”
Trump also said the U.S. would impose more tariffs on Chinese goods if China retaliates with duties of its own on American products.
“I understand the end goal with our tariff policy in shaking things up and trying to open up foreign markets but I’m not sure we are any closer to achieving our goals as we get hit back with taxes on us,” said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group.
China promptly responded to the Trump administration’s announcement, with the Chinese Commerce Ministry saying it will implement tariffs on the same scale as the U.S.
Shares of Boeing and Caterpillar both dropped more than 1.5 percent following the news. The two stocks are highly sensitive to increasing trade tensions because a large chunk of their business comes from overseas.
Treasury yields also fell, with the benchmark 10-year note yield trading at 2.92 percent. The short-term two-year note yield also slipped to 2.55 percent.
Tensions between the U.S. and several of its key trading partners have been simmering recently as the Trump administration tries to fight trade practices or deals it thinks are unfair to the U.S.
The moves Friday come after U.S. markets finished the previous day’s trading on a mixed note. The Nasdaq composite hit an all-time high during Thursday’s session, with the S&P 500 also closing in the black. The Dow however failed to hold onto gains.