US stock market declines on trade worries

The stock market turned lower in afternoon trading Friday after a report that President Trump has told aides to go ahead with tariffs on about $200 billion in additional Chinese goods.

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The Bloomberg News report comes as the market was posting modest gains earlier in the day’s session. Shares had been climbing on expectations that trade tensions between the U.S. and China were easing and consumer sentiment surged to a six-month high.

But those expectations were dashed and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which had been up about 65 points, dropped approximately 120 points.

“When the headlines hit, the knee-jerk reaction in the market is to either sell off or gain immediately,” Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial said to Bloomberg. “The president has had a couple of tweets suggesting he’s in no hurry to craft an agreement, but despite this, talks are apparently going to resume. And the question will be whether or not that leads to more negotiations.”

Shares of technology companies were leading the stock market lower.

Meanwhile, Wall Street was also paying attention to Hurricane Florence, which made landfall near Cape Fear, N.C., on Friday morning. Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 storm with winds of 90 mph moving west at only 6 mph. Heavy rain, gusting winds and rising floodwaters hammered the Carolinas, threatening millions of people in its path with torrential rainfall and widespread flooding.

In Asian markets on Friday, Japan’s Nikkei average rallied to over a seven-month high as sentiment improved on signs China and the United States could set aside their differences and resolve a heated trade dispute.

The Nikkei ended the day up 1 percent and higher by 3.5 percent for the week, the best weekly performance in two months. China’s Shanghai Composite ended

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