Fear crept into U.S. markets on Thursday afternoon with the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunging 723.42 points (2.94%) while the S&P 500 fell 68.24 points (2.52%). The Nasdaq fell 2.4%.
The plunges came after President Donald Trump ordered tariffs on Chinese goods, describing the US trade deficit with China as “out of control.”
“We have a tremendous intellectual property theft situation going on,” Trump said.
In ETFs, the selloff was felt by the Financial Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLF), the largest financial services ETF, and the Industrial Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLI), the largest exchange traded fund tracking industrial stocks, which were both down over 3%.
Meanwhile, the VIX jumped 30% and held its ground at the 23.30 level, according to Yahoo Finance data.
Market observers said the overnight selling looked to begin with Tencent, down 5%, after bad earnings.