U.S. markets fall sharply amid trade war fears, tech sell-off

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U.S. markets fell sharply Monday amid rising fears of a trade war with China while tech stocks were dragged down by President Donald Trump’s criticism of Amazon and what could be bad news for Intel.

The Dow Jones closed down 459 points (1.9 percent) at 23,644 after it erased some of the losses it suffered earlier in the trading day, when it was down more than 750 points (3.1 percent).

The NASDAQ Composite, meanwhile, is close to correction territory after it fell 193 points (2.7 percent) and turned negative for the year. The S&P 500 fell 62 points (2.3 percent) and the Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 29 points (2.4 percent).

The sell-off on the first day of the second quarter came just hours after China retaliated against Trump’s decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum. The measures have renewed fears of a trade war between the U.S. and China.

China said it will impose tariffs on 128 products from the United States, including a 15 percent tariff on fruit, nuts and steel piping and a 25 percent tariff on pork and scrap aluminum. The tariffs came into effect immediately.

Meanwhile, the tech industry was dragged down by Amazon which fell 5.2 percent after Trump renewed his criticism of the company, claiming that the U.S. Postal Service is losing “a fortune” because of Amazon. “This will be changed,” Trump said in a tweet, providing no further details.

And shares of Intel fell more than 6 percent after Bloomberg News reported that Apple plans to start using its own chips in Mac computers, replacing those of Intel. Meanwhile, shares of Tesla fell 5.1 percent after the company suffered a string of bad news.

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