Stocks plummet after Trump vows to retaliate against China's latest tariffs

TrumpPresident Donald J. Trump stops to talk to reporters and members of the media as he departs on the South Lawn at the White House on Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019 in Washington, DC.Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images


Stocks tumbled on Friday after President Trump unleashed a flurry of tweets threatening to amplify the trade war in response to China's latest round of tariffs.

Here's a look at the major indexes as of the 12 p.m. ET on Friday:

Major indexes began the day slightly down on China's announcement that it would slap duties on $75 billion worth of US products in response to the US tariffs set to take effect in September.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell didn't rule out further rate cuts this year during his speech at the Jackson Hole Symposium, paring the losses from China's earlier announcement.

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Powell said the Fed will respond as appropriate to macroeconomic conditions, citing a continually weakening global backdrop amid the trade war, but strong signs within the US economy. Although stocks returned some losses, they remained relatively flat on the news, as traders were hoping for a more definitive signal on the direction of interest rates.

Trump pledged to retaliate against China's latest round of tariffs, which sent stocks into a tailspin. He wrote in a tweet that the US doesn't need China, that the country would be "far better better off without them."

"'Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing..your companies HOME and making your products in the USA," the president wrote in a tweet.

The president said he would provide a more detailed response to China's tariffs on Friday afternoon.
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