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Stocks get crushed on trade war talk

Photo by Wang Ying via Getty Images

Stocks got crushed on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial average down 572 points, or 2.3%. But it could have been worse, as the Dow at one point was off 767 points. Two main factors:

  1. Trade wars: President Trump's late Thursday threat of another $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports, combined with China's bombastic reply and confusing comments from both Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin and new Trump economic advisor Larry Kudlow.
  2. Interest rates: Fed chair Jay Powell said that he remains committed to gradual rate hikes. This was as expected, but there was some hope that recent stock market declines and weaker-than-expected March jobs numbers could convince the Fed to slow down.