Dow dives 700 points as China puts tariffs on US goods


NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are tumbling Monday after China officially raised import duties on U.S. pork, apples and other products. It’s a fairly small move but investors are worried it could be step toward a trade war that harms global commerce and company profits.

Meat producer Tyson Foods is among the biggest losers on Wall Street. Investors are also dumping some of their recent favorites, including technology companies like Microsoft, and Amazon, the target of numerous critical tweets from President Donald Trump over the last few days.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index skidded 71 points, or 2.7 percent, to 2,569 as of 1:36 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 623 points, or 2.6 percent, to 23,480. The Nasdaq composite slumped 212 points, or 3 percent, to 6,850. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 34 points, or 2.3 percent, to 1,494.

U.S. markets were closed Friday for the Good Friday holiday. The benchmark index lost 1.2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 following nine straight quarters of gains.

TRADE FEARS: China raised import duties on a $3 billion list of U.S. goods in response to U.S. tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. Tyson Foods slumped $4.42, or 6 percent, to $68.77.

A bigger dispute looms over Trump’s approval of possible higher duties on Chinese goods. There are a number of points of contention between China and Washington, Europe and Japan over a state-led economic model they complain hampers market access, protects Chinese companies and subsidizes exports in violation of Beijing’s free-trade commitments. Meanwhile the U.S., Canada and Mexico continue to hold talks about potential changes to NAFTA.

The price of gold climbed 1.2 percent to $1,343.60 an ounce and silver jumped 2 percent to $16.60 an ounce as some investors took money out of stocks and looked for safer investments.

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