US stocks traded lower on Thursday as news that President Donald Trump would propose trade duties on China imports stoked fresh fears about a potential trade war between two of the world's largest economies that could impede domestic economic expansion in roughly its ninth year.
The market also seemed to take comfort from the fact that the effective date of China's move depends on when the US action takes effect and Washington has a two-month window for public comment and consultation.
At 8:57 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 459 points, or 1.91 percent. But late Thursday, Trump ordered the U.S. Trade Representative to consider placing more tariffs on Chinese imports. China earlier said no talks were ongoing. The Philadelphia semiconductor index (.SOX) fell 1.2 percent.
China's tariffs on USA soybean exports led to bets that higher domestic reserves would lower food costs for meat producers such as Tyson Foods (Frankfurt: 870625 - news), Hormel, Sanderson Farms and Pilgrim's Pride, helping those stocks.
Boeing, the single largest U.S. exporter to China, fell 1.12 per cent. Caterpillar declined 1.3 per cent and Deere dropped about 2 per cent.More news: New York City Police Fatally Shoot Man Wielding A Pipe
Chipmakers, many of which have the highest revenue exposure to China among S&P 500 companies, also fell.
Industrial companies were especially hard hit by the escalation in trade tensions Friday.
The next chart highlights that the 10-year yield has spent the majority of the past 25-years inside of a falling channel. The S&P 500 .SPX lost 22.96 points, or 0.862237 percent, to 2,639.88. Employers added 103,000 jobs last month, the weakest showing in months, and January and February's numbers were also revised lower.
The stock posting the largest daily percentage gain in the S&P 500 ahead of the close Thursday was Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. While the UK's FTSE 100 Index crept up by 0.1%, the French CAC 40 Index dipped by 0.2% and the German DAX Index fell by 0.4%.