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US stocks fall sharply as US-China trade war escalates

By ALEX VEIGA

AP Business Writer

Stocks tumbled on Wall Street after President Donald Trump demanded that U.S. companies with operations in China consider moving them to other countries — including the U.S. — just hours after Beijing announced new tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. goods.

Trump also said he would respond to Beijing’s latest tariff increase later Friday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank about 600 points after the president made the announcements on Twitter.

Trump also said he was “ordering” UPS, Federal Express and Amazon to block any deliveries from China of the powerful opioid drug fentanyl. The stocks of all three companies fell as traders tried to understand what the implications for them were.

The developments mark the latest escalation of an ongoing trade dispute. The U.S. has said it would impose 10% duties on the $300 billion of Chinese goods that were not already subject to tariffs in two steps, On Sept. 1 and Dec. 15. Early Friday China said it would retaliate with taxes on $75 billion of U.S. products along the same timeframe.

The broad sell-off wiped out all the market’s gains this week, placing the S&P 500 on track for its fourth straight weekly loss. The benchmark index is down 4.1% for the month.

The S&P 500 was down 2.5% as of 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 598 points, or 2.3%, to 25,653. The Nasdaq dropped 2.9%.