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Dow drops more than 500 points after Trump attacks Amazon again

Published April 02,2018
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U.S. stocks tumbled and Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 500 points on Monday, amid growing concerns over after U.S. President Donald Trump again attacked the online retailer, while the dollar slid as China raised tariffs on U.S. products in an escalating spat between the world's two biggest economies.

China bumped tariffs by up to 25 percent on 128 U.S. products, from frozen pork and wine to certain fruits and nuts, in response to U.S. duties on imports of aluminum and steel.

Gold snapped a three-session losing streak and the dollar fell after the tariffs, which are due to take effect on Monday, were announced late Sunday by China's finance ministry.

Trading was light as major European markets were closed for the Easter Monday holiday. Markets in Australia and Hong Kong also were shut.

Shares of Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook and Google parent Alphabet dominated trading on MSCI's all-country world stock index, which fell 0.91 percent. The four companies were also the biggest drag on the benchmark S&P 500 index.

Trump's comments on Amazon weighed on the equity market but further news on U.S.-China trade later this week is drawing investor interest, said Jeffrey Kleintop, chief global investment strategist at Charles Schwab & Co Inc in Boston.

"Everybody is bracing for that," Kleintop said of expected U.S. tariffs on $50 billion to $60 billion worth of annual imports from China that will likely intensify U.S.-China tensions.

The Trump administration will unveil by Friday a list of advanced technology Chinese imports targeted for U.S. tariffs to punish Beijing over technology transfer policies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 544.13 points, or 2.26 percent, to 23,558.98, the S&P 500 lost 64.75 points, or 2.45 percent, to 2,576.12 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 192.21 points, or 2.72 percent, to 6,871.24.

Shares of Inc fell 4.8 percent after Trump attacked the online retailer over the pricing of its deliveries through the U.S. postal system and promised unspecified changes.

"Only fools, or worse, are saying that our money-losing Post Office makes money with Amazon," Trump tweeted.

Emerging market stocks were down 0.17 percent.

The dollar fell for a second straight session.

The dollar index fell 0.04 percent, with the euro down 0.3 percent to $1.2284. The Japanese yen firmed 0.23 percent at 106.05 per dollar.

Oil fell below $68 a barrel, reversing an earlier rally, as a rise in Russian production and concern about a U.S.-China trade spat offset a drop in U.S. drilling activity.

U.S. drillers cut seven oil rigs in the week to March 29, bringing the total down to 797, the first decline in three weeks. The rig count is closely watched as an indicator of future U.S. oil output.

U.S. crude fell $1.81 to $63.13 per barrel and Brent was last at $67.88, down $1.46 on the day.

U.S. Treasury yields rose, with benchmark 10-year notes down 1/32 in price to yield 2.7461 percent.

Spot gold added 1.1 percent to $1,338.04 an ounce.