Dow off 400 points — but off lows — after arrest of Huawei exec reignites trade worries

U.S. stocks were down sharply midday Thursday after the arrest of a Huawei executive reignited trade worries, and as continued weakness in oil markets underscored concerns over global growth ahead of an OPEC meeting in Vienna Thursday.

How are the benchmarks trading?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -1.67%  fell 400 points, or 1.6%, at 24,625, though the index was down by as many as 785 points at the low. The S&P 500 index SPX, -1.33%  was off 34 points to 2,666, a loss of 1.4%, and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.41%  tumbled 30 points, or 0.4%, at 7,127. All three benchmarks are off their session nadir.

Thursday’s losses have put the Dow and the S&P into the red for 2018, with both indexes down 1.5% year-to-date, while the Nasdaq clings to a 1.8% gain on the year.

The Dow is and the S&P 500 are now on pace to lose 4.5% on the week. The Nasdaq Composite Index is down 4.1% week-to-date, after U.S. stock were closed Wednesday to mark a national day of mourning after the Friday death of former President George H.W. Bush.

Read: The worst-performing stocks on ‘Tariff Man’ Tuesday

What’s driving the market?

Investors have been rattled by news that the Canadian authorities had arrested Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, at the request of U.S. authorities for allegedly violating sanctions against Iran. The arrest, which was made on Dec. 1, comes as the U.S. has taken several steps to restrict the Chinese technology giant, trying to persuade international allies to do the same.

When stock-index futures reopened Thursday, the drop was so severe on S&P 500 futures that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange triggered circuit breakers to avoid worse losses. Those futures spiked down to 2,659, a drop of 1.9% before

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