The latest U.S. weekly initial jobless claims count totaled a slightly higher than expected 242K, but Treasury prices showed little reaction; the yield on the benchmark 10-year note is up 2 bps at 2.81%, roughly where it stood ahead of the release. Apple gained $1.22 to $172.83 and Alphabet, Google's parent company, rose $11.67 to $1,041.38. For the first quarter 2018 reporting period, the estimated earnings growth rate for the S&P 500 is 17.3%.
"These potential trade wars are not good for the market", said Stephen Massocca, senior vice president at Wedbush Securities in San Francisco. That would be the tactic called "buy the dip", which refers to when investors see equity weakness as an opportunity to build exposure at discount prices.
"It's more complicated than just a tech selloff". But not unexpected given all the times during this bull market that policymakers have rescued the bulls from the abyss. He added that Trump is a "lifelong dealmaker" and this whole trade-war thing is not the "first controversy he's gone into. this is not World War III".
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened close to 500 points lower Wednesday morning, a roughly 2 percent drop.
Those are the non-tech market leaders.
The recent spat with Amazon has investors concerned the president could favor imposing new taxes on Amazon or pushing for the Post Office to charge more to deliver Amazon's packages.
The German DAX jumped 2.9 percent and the CAC 40 in France rose 2.6 percent. He said Wednesday that he supports Trump's decision.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 107.01 yen from 106.74 yen.
Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Tesla fell between 0.8 percent and 1.88 percent. US oil futures fell less than 1% to about $63 per barrel. It was down as much as 758 points earlier. The Nasdaq composite added 34.44 points, or 0.5 percent, to 7,076.55.
Industrial companies recovered some of their losses from the day before.
"The level of uncertainty has definitely surged", said Adam Sarhan, Chief Executive of 50 Park Investments in New York. CNNMoney's Fear & Greed Index flashed "extreme fear". About 469 of the S&P 500 components were lower.
"It is still uncertain how this will play out", Julian Evans-Pritchard, an economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a research note Wednesday.
The energy sector slipped 0.5 per cent as oil slumped to a two-week low.
"The market is going through a self-writing process by working off the excesses of investor enthusiasm".