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The Dow and S&P 500 fell on Friday and were on track for weekly losses as investor anxiety built over a possible global trade war following President Donald Trump's threat to impose import tariffs on steel and aluminium.
Europe has drawn up a list of U.S. products from bourbon to Harley Davidson motorbikes on which to apply tariffs if Trump carries out his plan, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross played down the fears, saying "hysteria over tariffs is a lot to do over nothing."
Trump's announcement comes at a time when the markets was already on edge over rising U.S. interest rates and bond yields, though some investors said a lot of details still need to be worked out.
"If (it is) the case, this could get bad, but we're not there yet," said Brad McMillan, chief investment Officer for Commonwealth Financial Network. "I'm personally not reacting just yet ... I wouldn't bet on any" impact to earnings at this point.
Shares in big U.S. steel companies and manufacturers were under pressure on uncertainty over the effects of tariffs.
Shares in Caterpillar
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 219.48 points, or 0.89 percent, to 24,389.5, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 4.64 points, or 0.17 percent, to 2,673.03 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 23.09 points, or 0.32 percent, to 7,203.66.
J.C. Penney Co Inc
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.05-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.01-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.