FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) in New York, U.S., February 26, 2018.
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After a confused day of report and counter report, Trump said the US would impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on imported aluminum next week.
Investors had a different impression.
"It's helping about a dozen stocks in those industries but has raised the specter of trade wars, and trade wars don't help the stock market". The president of the European Union's governing body suggested possible tariffs on blue jeans and motorcycles. The declines brought the drop in the S&P 500 since Tuesday toward 4 percent, a slump that before February's meltdown would have been the biggest since the Brexit swoon of June 2016.
Best Buy Co.(BBY) earnings and revenue came in above expectations, sending shares 2% higher. Last year, the worst weekly loss was just 1.4 per cent.
The blue chip index lost 380 points, or 1.5%, while the S&P 500 lost 1.1%, or 30 points, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq declined by 0.8%, or 57 points.
Seven of the index's 10 main groups ended lower.
"I view almost every one of Trump's actions through a negotiation lens", he said.
As for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, they have fallen by more than 1.2 per cent each. That means Apple and other big US companies are dependent on customers not only in Peoria but also Paris and Peru.
Market anxiety has also eased, with CBOE's volatility index (VIX) falling 1.3 per cent to 16.28.
The trade worries are piling onto a market that was already nervous. His address to congress signalled the Fed will keep raising interest rates to contain inflation.
Secret Service: Man Dead After Shooting Himself Near White House
In March past year a man armed with pepper spray spent more than 16 minutes inside the grounds after jumping the fence. No one else was injured, although there were reports that people at the White House sheltered in place.
USA stocks had been higher earlier in the day after Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell testified before Congress that he does not see inflation in workers' wages "at a point of acceleration", easing trading anxieties following his comments earlier in the week many interpreted as a signal the Fed may raise rates more quickly than expected to beat down inflation.
The Australian share market is expected to slip at the open, following weak overnight leads from European and U.S. markets.
Earlier in the week, Powell's testimony helped send Treasury yields jumping and stocks tumbling when he said that he's feeling more optimistic about the economy.
Investors are particularly interested in hearing where he sees interest rates this year.
"When central banks ease, the goal is shock and awe, or to use a football analogy, to throw the deep ball", he said.
First it was valuations, then inflation and surging bond yields.
The S&P 500 posted one new 52-week high and 25 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 59 new highs and 65 new lows.
The shares were down 7.4% at US$42.50 ahead of the start of open outcry trading.
The losses follow up sharp drops in markets overseas.
France's CAC 40 fell 1.1 percent and Germany's DAX was down 2 percent. The FTSE 100 in London gave up 1.5 per cent. Brent crude, the global standard, rose 54 cents to $64.37 a barrel. The yearly increase in the PCE was flat at 1.7% for the third month in a row, below the Fed's 2% target.
The dollar dipped to 106.24from 106.66 yen late Wednesday.
Excluding one-off charges and adjustments, earnings per share were positive at US$1.26.