Investing.com - Stocks fell on Friday, rounding off a weekly loss, as President Donald Trump threatened to hammer China with further tariffs.
Gripped by fear the United States and China are heading further down the path toward a full-blown trade war, investors reined in their bets on riskier assets like stocks, pressuring the broader averages.
With the administration already expected to impose tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods from China, Trump upped the ante on trade, threatening levies on another $267 billion of goods.
The levies on the list of goods could reportedly cover a wide range of products from popular tech companies, including Apple, according to Bloomberg. Apple later confirmed in a letter that the tariffs would affect the Apple Watch, AirPods and Apple Pencil.
"It is difficult to see how tariffs that hurt U.S. companies and U.S. consumers will advance the Government's objectives with respect to China's technology policies," Apple said in the letter.
Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) fell on the news, exerting further pressure on the beaten-up tech sector.
Positives on U.S.-Canada trade negotiations were few and far between amid signs of limited progress on an agreement to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), often cited as trade bellwethers given their large international exposure, struggled to sidestep concerns about a ramp in trade tensions as both closed lower.
Energy, meanwhile, did little to stem losses in the broader market after ending the day roughly unchanged, as oil prices were pressured by a rising dollar and concerns about oil-demand growth, amid rising trade tensions.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for October delivery fell 2 cents to settle at $67.75 a barrel.
Economic data provided a little optimism for investors as the U.S. economy added 201,000 jobs in August, above forecasts for 191,000 new jobs. But average hourly earnings grew 0.4%, raising inflation fears. The unemployment rate unexpectedly rose to 3.9%.
On the corporate news front, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock dropped 6% after Chief Accounting Officer Dave Morton resigned as the "the level of public attention placed on the company," prompted him to rethink his future.
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