New York: Wall Street stocks added to losses in mid-afternoon trading on Friday as the latest round of tariff threats between the United States and China deepened fears of a trade war.
Near 1750 GMT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2.4 percent at 23,908.24.
The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 2.1 percent to 2,606.55, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed two percent to 6,932.37.
China said it was ready to pay “any cost” in a trade war after US President Donald Trump threatened an additional $100 billion in tit-for-tat tariffs on Beijing.
“If the US side disregards opposition from China and the international community and insists on carrying out unilateralism and trade protectionism, the Chinese side will take them on until the end at any cost,” the Commerce Ministry said in a statement on its website.
Shares of multinationals with big operations suffered bruising declines, including Boeing and Caterpillar, both down more than three percent and Nike, which lost 2.8 percent.
Markets have veered been anxiety over a possible trade war and hopes that Trump’s repeated threats to Beijing are a negotiating posture.
“Perhaps it is part of the negotiating process but it is not a fun part to watch and it causes uncertainty,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.
“The market does not like this, especially on Friday, where people tend not to want to take any risk ahead of the weekend.”
The latest war of words came as the Labor Department reported that the US added only 103,000 net new positions last month, well below expectations. Unemployment held steady at 4.1 percent.