Fears about a brewing trade dispute between the U.S. and China worry investors and send stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) on a roller coaster ride.

The U.S. government has imposed trade penalties on tires coming into the country from China and the Chinese responded by filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO), calling the move protectionist and a violation of global trade rules, reports Joe Mcdonald for the Associated Press.  The primary reason the United States has imposed these penalties is because importing tires hurts domestic production and American producers.

In other news, today marks the one-year anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, which sparked the worst period of the financial crisis and credit crunch, and President Barack Obama is expected to give a speech discussing the actions the government has taken to help the economy and stabilize the financial sector. He’s also expected to address what further regulation is needed to help avoid a future collapse.

The U.S. dollar has gained a bit of ground in morning trading as crude oil has dipped below $69/barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and natural gas has jumped more than 12%.  Although natural gas has seen a nice gain, many analysts believe that a mild winter forecast and the amount of natural gas that is in storage will place supply and demand pressures on the commodity, forcing prices to drop.  The United States Natural Gas (NYSEArce: UNG) was up 2.6% in morning trading.

In the fixed-income world, Treasuries fell for the first time in four days amid speculation that the rally that pushed yields to their lowest level in two months can’t be sustained.  As a result, the yield on a 10-year note climbed this morning.  The iShares Barclays 7-10 Yr. Treasury (NYSEArca: IEF) was down 0.3% in morning trading.

As for the overall markets, all three major U.S. indexes were slightly in negative territory with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.2%, the S&P 500 dropping 0.03% and the Nasdaq giving up 0.04%.

For more stories on China, visit our China category.

Kevin Grewal contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.