Wall Street cuts losses as Kudlow promises China trade talks

Wall Street cuts losses as Kudlow promises China trade talks

Stocks fell sharply on Friday as worries of a trade war brewing between the USA and China grew.

"A breakdown in trade negotiations and policy missteps could lead to a full-blown trade war that would damage global business and consumer confidence, investment prospects, and growth", says Terry Chan, credit analyst at S&P Global Ratings.

Analysts said the market also responded to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who said that the United States economy was growing and a turbulent stock market would not change the Fed's course to gradually raise interest rates.

What are main benchmarks doing?

The Dow closed down 572 points, a drop of 2.3%, after President Trump threatened to escalate a confrontation with China over trade.

Apple skidded $2.14, or 1.2 per cent, to $170.66 and Cisco Systems declined 63 cents, or 1.5 per cent, to $41.19.

For the week, the S&P 500 was down 1.4 percent, the Dow was down 0.7 percent and the Nasdaq was down 2.1 percent. Investors fear a full-blown trade war could erupt.

China's commerce ministry responded to the latest tariff threat by saying it will respond with countermeasures if needed.

USA government bond prices declined as global stocks rallied, lifted by bets that that negotiations would soften the blow of announced trade tariffs.

Kudlow said on told Bloomberg TV that while trade talks with China have not yet begun but will hopefully start in the next few months. Powell said it was too soon to know a trade battle would affect the economy.

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LOSERS: Technology companies make a lot of their sales in Asia and they have struggled as Wall Street worries about a slowdown in global economic growth.

The government reported that US employers added 103,000 jobs in March, a weaker pace than the last few months. The US still shows the tightest labor market in almost two decades.

Shares of Incyte Corp.(INCY) plunged 23%, and Merck & Co. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.78 per cent from 2.83 per cent.

Among shares of industrial and materials firms, CF Industries Holdings Inc. Caterpillar fell 3.5 percent.

Nvidia Corp.(NVDA) sank 3.2 to close at $214.25.

Chinese officials this week also said they were eager to negotiate. The stock ended 0.2% lower.

Losses were broad-based, with all 30 members of the Dow finishing negative. The benchmark index in Hong Kong gained, while stocks in Japan and Korea lost 0.3%.

The first reason the stock market is down today is because of the March 2018 jobs report.

Oil prices edged higher as fears that trade restrictions would crimp global economic growth took a back seat to declining United States inventories.