Dow, stocks pare losses in afternoon trading after Trump's trade threat to China

It looked like it could have been a bloodbath, but by the end of trading Monday, investors largely shrugged off President Donald Trump’s trade threat to China over Twitter.

Stocks finished lower but pared much of their earlier losses. But futures slid again in after-hours trading after media reports suggested that tariff hikes were on the way.

“We have watched these blusterings in real time before. Trump’s tweets have a tendency to reverse themselves,” said Jamie Cox, managing partner for Harris Financial Group. “We have all been conditioned to wait and see.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 66 points, or 0.25%, to end at 26,438 on Monday. The S&P 500 index lost 13 points, or 0.45%, to close at 2,932. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell almost 41 points, or 0.5%, to finish at 8,123.

For 10 months, China has been paying Tariffs to the USA of 25% on 50 Billion Dollars of High Tech, and 10% on 200 Billion Dollars of other goods. These payments are partially responsible for our great economic results. The 10% will go up to 25% on Friday. 325 Billions Dollars….

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 5, 2019

….of additional goods sent to us by China remain untaxed, but will be shortly, at a rate of 25%. The Tariffs paid to the USA have had little impact on product cost, mostly borne by China. The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 5, 2019

Reports Monday after the market closed that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the U.S. would enact tariff increases on Friday again sent stock futures down. Dow futures tumbled almost 300 points or 1.21%  after the market closed, while S&P futures lost 1.21%.

Trump tweets on trade

On Sunday, Trump said in a tweet that he would raise tariffs to 25% from

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