Many companies featured on Money advertise with us. Opinions are our own, but compensation and
in-depth research determine where and how companies may appear. Learn more about how we make money.

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (
Spencer Platt—Getty Images

U.S. stocks tumbled the most in six weeks and Treasuries rallied as investors shifted focus from the Federal Reserve to the threat of an escalating trade war with China that has the potential to disrupt global growth.

The benchmark S&P 500 Index slumped the most since early February and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 700 points after President Donald Trump ordered tariffs on about $50 billion in Chinese goods. The 10-year Treasury yield slid toward 2.8 percent and the yen advanced as investors sought safe havens. The dollar rebounded.

“The market doesn’t like trade wars, the market doesn’t like that the Fed is adamant about raising rates,” said Matt Schreiber, president and chief investment strategist at WBI Investments in Red Bank, New Jersey. “Yes the economy has been pretty strong, the labor market has less slack, but there’s nothing to really get fired up about and try to normalize rates to a level way above where we are.”

The threat that a tit-for-tat trade spat with China will erupt and hamper global growth has investors on edge a day after the Fed sought to reassure markets that it’s in no hurry to raise rates even as it lifted growth projections for the world’s largest economy. Trump’s first trade action directly aimed at China comes as policy makers including IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde warn of a global trade conflict that could undermine the broadest world recovery in years.

Stocks were also hit earlier when John Dowd resigned as Trump’s lead attorney countering Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe as the inquiry into possible collusion in the 2016 election intensifies.

Facebook Inc. helped pace a decline in the tech sector, falling 2.7 percent. This week’s selloff in tech stocks is on pace to be the worst since early February. Other notable decliners Thursday included Accenture Plc and Micron Technology Inc.

Elsewhere, West Texas oil fluctuated before falling and the Australian dollar slipped after the country’s unemployment rate climbed. The British pound initially jumped after the country’s central bank voted 7-2 to maintain interest rates, but pared as investors digested comments from policy makers that weren’t overtly hawkish.

(Courtesy of Bloomberg)

Here are some key events on the schedule for the remainder of this week:

The Bank of Russia’s rate decision is on Friday. U.S. government funding is due to expire at the end of the day on Friday.

And these are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

The S&P 500 Index fell 2.5 percent as of 4:03 p.m. New York time, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 2.9 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 2.4 percent. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 1.7 percent and the MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index dipped 1.5 percent, touching the lowest in 15 months. The MSCI Emerging Market Index fell 1.2 percent.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.2 percent, rebounding from the largest drop since January. The euro fell 0.2 percent to $1.2318. The British pound dropped 0.2 percent to $1.4111. The Japanese yen rose 0.6 percent to 105.41 per dollar.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell six basis point to 2.82 percent. Germany’s 10-year yield dropped six basis point to 0.53 percent, declining from the highest in more than a week. Britain’s 10-year yield fell nine basis points to 1.44 percent.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 1.4 percent to $64.24 a barrel, easing from the highest in almost seven weeks. Gold fell 0.3 percent to $1,329.07 an ounce a day after the biggest rise since May 2017.

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

EDIT POST