Dow falls 325 points as trade war fears escalate

Traders look at screen at the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange on June 18, 2018. - The Buenos Aires Stock Exchange plunged 6.55 percent Monday, pulled down by sharp declines in prices for energy and bank shares and amid market volatility as Argentina seeks financial support from the IMF. (Photo by EITAN ABRAMOVICH / AFP) (Photo credit should read EITAN ABRAMOVICH/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — Stocks are off to another rocky start on Wall Street.

The Dow opened down 325 points on Tuesday, turning negative for the year and on track for its sixth straight day of losses.

President Donald Trump threatened Monday evening to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods if Beijing follows throw with its promise to retaliate against a previous round of US tariffs.

“Further action must be taken to encourage China to change its unfair practices, open its market to United States goods, and accept a more balanced trade relationship with the United States,” Trump said in a statement.

There is no end in sight to the trade skirmish, as both sides continue to up the ante. The Chinese Commerce Ministry responded that it would “strike back hard” with “measures that match the US move in quantity and quality.”

Investors had tried to brush off Trump’s repeated threats against China, but retaliation has spiraled between the two countries. It has become impossible for the market to ignore the possibility of a trade war.

“This is just what we predicted — a tit-for-tat trade war has erupted and American families are caught in the middle,” National Retail Federation president Matthew Shay said in a statement Monday evening. “Higher prices for everyday essentials and lost jobs threaten to sap the energy out of the strong US economy.”

Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group, blasted Trump’s attempt to gain Chinese concessions.

“The strategy now seems a trade war of attrition,” he said in a note to clients on Tuesday. “The means to that end is now going off the rails.”