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U.S. Stocks Tumble, Bonds Surge on Fresh Tariffs: Markets Wrap

Randall Jensen and Sarah Ponczek
U.S. Stocks Tumble, Bonds Surge on Fresh Tariffs: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- A fresh salvo in the U.S.-China trade war from President Donald Trump roiled financial markets a day after the Federal Reserve delivered the first interest-rate cut in a decade in part to combat the spat’s effects on global growth.

The S&P 500 saw the biggest two-day drop since May, with stocks swinging 2% from gains to losses, after Trump said America will levy a 10% tariff on $300 billion in Chinese goods starting Sept. 1. After markets closed, the president said the new levies could be raised beyond 25%.

The 10-year Treasury yield dropped to the lowest level since 2016, while two-year rates plunged as much as 18 basis points as traders increased bets on Fed cuts to another half point this year. The yen rose the most in two months versus the dollar, while crude slumped 8%, its worst day in four years.

Lenders led losses on benchmarks with Bank of America falling the most in more than two months. The declines spread across sectors as slumping global industrial company Caterpillar Inc., consumer brand Nike Inc. and tech giant Apple Inc. slammed the Dow Jones Industrial Average. A draft list of $300 billion worth of targets published by the Trump administration in May included a raft of consumer and technology goods, including most of Apple’s major products such the IPhone, along with toys, footwear and clothing.

“Any way you slice it, escalations of the whole megillah, meaning the additional $300 billion starting with 10%, means it’s only going to get worse and that’s going to be a defining moment in this trade war where it starts showing up with the consumer,” said Arthur Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities Corp. “This is not good news for the market. We’re just seeing the beginning of what the market reaction’s going to look like.”

Stocks had been rebounding from Wednesday’s Fed-induced sell-off before Trump put trade back at the center of investor minds. The tariffs come after U.S.-Sino talks earlier in the week ended with no major progress, prompting the American president to push forward with tariffs in addition to the 25% on $250 billion that has been in place for months.

Here are some of the key events to watch as the week unfolds:

The U.S. July jobs report is due Friday.

Here are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

The S&P 500 Index fell 0.9% as of 4 p.m. New York time.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.5%.The MSCI Emerging Market Index sank 0.6%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.2%.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.2%.The euro rose 0.1% at $1.1086.The Japanese yen gained 1.28% to 107.39 per dollar, the biggest rise since May 31.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell 12 basis points to 1.89%.The two-year rate lost 12 basis points to 1.73%.Britain’s 10-year yield fell two basis points to 0.59%.

Commodities

Gold rose 1.2% to $1,454.50 an ounce.West Texas Intermediate crude decreased 7.9% to $53.95 a barrel, the biggest decline since February 2015

--With assistance from Laura Curtis, Vildana Hajric, Sophie Caronello and Olivia Rinaldi.

To contact the reporters on this story: Randall Jensen in New York at rjensen18@bloomberg.net;Sarah Ponczek in New York at sponczek2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeremy Herron at jherron8@bloomberg.net, ;Samuel Potter at spotter33@bloomberg.net, Robert Brand

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