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Wall Street trims losses as Trump talks tariffs, but eases trade war fears

From Reuters - March 22, 2018

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks slid on Thursday, but were off session lows, after President Donald Trump said he planned to impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports, but his action was far removed from threats that could have ignited a global trade war.

Trump, according to a presidential memorandum he signed, will target the imports only after a consultation period. China will also have space to respond, reducing the risk of immediate retaliation from Beijing, and Trump struck an emollient tone while speaking, saying I view them as a friend.

The three major indexes were down roughly 1 percent after Trump spoke, easing from a slide that saw them drop nearly 2 percent earlier as investors fretted over the scale of U.S tariffs and the possible repercussions on global trade.

Nothing actually gets put into place today. It looks like there is going to be at least a 30-day window between now and when it actually gets implemented, said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.

In the next 30 days the markets going to be concerned about it, and that means were going to be in for more volatility and somewhat limited upside over the next month.

Still, major industrials companies stayed lower. Boeing, Caterpillar and 3M were the biggest drags on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, sliding 2-3 percent.

At 13:30 p.m. ET, the Dow was down 251.93 points, or 1.02 percent, to 24,430.38. The S&P 500 was lower 25.2 points, or 0.929228 percent, to 2,686.73. The Nasdaq Composite was down 69.72 points, or 0.95 percent, to 7,275.57.

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