US stocks fall on Trump China tariff report

New York: Wall Street stocks lurched into negative territory at midday Friday following a news report that US President Donald Trump plans to press ahead with yet more tariffs on China.

US stocks had been mildly positive most of the morning but the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.2 percent at 26,104.77 near 1630 GMT.

The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 0.2 percent to 2,899.36, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.3 percent to 27,988.27.

The shift in stocks came after Bloomberg News, citing unnamed officials, reported that Trump had instructed aides on Thursday to proceed with tariffs on about $200 billion more of Chinese goods, despite another effort at negotiations with Beijing launched by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Trade war fears have been a recurring damper on the market in recent months, although the modest size of Friday’s retreat also suggested investors were taking a wait-and-see approach to the latest development.

Dow companies falling more than one percent included Apple, McDonald’s and Disney.