U.S. stocks fell Thursday as investors guaged increasing trade tensions between the U.S. and China.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 196.1 points, or 0.8%, to 24,461.70, marking the blue-chip index's eighth consecutive day in negative territory. That's the longest losing streak for the Dow in 15 months.
The S&P 500 fell 17.56 points to 2,749.76. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 68.56 points to 7,712.95.
A Chinese government-owned tabloid said Thursday that there’s a chance China may need to adopt a “hard-line approach” targeting U.S. firms listed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, if President Trump keeps up with his trade threats.
“China does not want a trade war, but if Chinese companies suffer great losses due to Trump's protectionist trade policies, China will have no choice but to fight back in a bid to safeguard the interests of Chinese investors,” The Global Times said.
|I:DJI||DOW JONES AVERAGES||30932.37||-469.64||-1.50%|
|I:COMP||NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX||13192.345407||+72.91||+0.56%|
In Thursday’s trading in Asia, China’s Shanghai Composite ended the day down 1.4% to a two-year low.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed the day also down 1.4%. Japan’s Nikkei index finished the session higher by 0.61%
Financial shares may be active on Friday after the Federal Reserve releases the first round of results from the central bank’s annual stress tests.
Shares of Stamps.com dropped more than 10% on news that the Trump administration is considering a government restructuring, including a plan to revamp the U.S. Postal Service.
Online retailers such as Amazon.com and eBay also closed in negative territory in reaction to a Supreme Court ruling allowing states to require e-commerce companies to collect sales taxes.
On the economic agenda, the Bank of England left its key interest rate unchanged at 0.50%, as expected. If the economy is turning the corner, the idea of an August rate increase could be on the table.
In Europe, London’s FTSE was lower by 0.69%, Germany’s DAX was lower by 1.12% and France’s CAC was off 0.69%.
In the U.S., the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week. Initial claims decreased 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 218,000.
The Philadelphia Fed report on manufacturing in the Mid-Atlantic region fell to the lowest level since November 2016.