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Trade war fears; Stocks drop; DC avoids shutdown

1. Trade war fears: Investors are running scared after the United States and China fired the opening...

Posted: Mar 23, 2018 10:30 AM
Updated: Mar 23, 2018 10:30 AM

1. Trade war fears: Investors are running scared after the United States and China fired the opening salvos of what could become a trade war.

President Donald Trump has directed the US trade representative to level tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports following an investigation into intellectual property theft.

The United States also plans to impose new investment restrictions and take action against China at the World Trade Organization.

China quickly responded with tariffs of its own that will hit US imports worth $3 billion. Beijing said the proposed trade sanctions would target US-made products ranging from pork to steel pipes.

The response from China was measured, but more retaliatory actions could be in the works.

US stock futures were in negative territory.

European stocks were down over 1% in early trade. Japan's Nikkei shed 4.5%, while the Shanghai Composite dropped 3.4% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 2.5%.

Gold and the Swiss franc, seen as safe havens by investors, both strengthened. The CNNMoney Fear & Greed Index shows that "extreme fear" is driving the markets.

2. Metal tariffs: The United States has granted temporary exemptions on steel and aluminum tariffs to the European Union, Argentina, Brazil, South Korea and Australia.

Exemptions for Canada and Mexico were previously announced.

The tariffs take effect Friday, but the exemptions mean they won't apply to many of the world's top steel producers. Lobbying efforts are now underway to make the exemptions permanent.

"I'm pleased that they've announced a temporary exemption for the EU," British Prime Minister Theresa May said in Brussels. "What I'll be working with my fellow EU leaders today on is to see how we can secure a permanent exemption for the EU."

May has a full agenda on Friday: European leaders are expected to formally adopt the agree the terms of the Brexit transition period and future trade deal negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

3. Thursday market recap: The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 2.9% after the Trump announcement on China. The S&P 500 declined 2.5% and the Nasdaq shed 2.4%.

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4. Earnings and economics: The US Senate passed a $1.3 trillion spending bill early on Friday, averting a potential government shutdown.

The massive spending package marks the end of a months-long funding stalemate in which lawmakers were forced to pass one short-term spending bill after another to stave off a shutdown.

The US Census Bureau is set to release its new home sales report for February at 10 a.m. ET.

Russia's central bank will announce a rate decision.

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5. Coming this week:
Friday -
New Home Sales

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 799516

Reported Deaths: 15393
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2644146455
Riverside578831179
San Bernardino53359918
Orange526221182
San Diego45596773
Kern31712360
Fresno28019362
Sacramento21872399
Alameda20951397
Santa Clara20756304
San Joaquin20126437
Stanislaus16436345
Contra Costa16238204
Tulare15829259
Ventura12591146
Imperial11741317
San Francisco1094699
San Mateo9714144
Monterey970170
Santa Barbara8973113
Merced8828140
Kings756977
Sonoma7262120
Marin6641114
Solano627863
Madera445865
Placer353544
San Luis Obispo347929
Butte279043
Yolo278255
Santa Cruz22949
Sutter168911
Napa165313
San Benito132111
Yuba11367
El Dorado10884
Mendocino89418
Shasta75916
Lassen7360
Glenn5713
Tehama5334
Lake53011
Nevada5286
Colusa5246
Humboldt4967
Calaveras31414
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18715
Mono1652
Siskiyou1630
Del Norte1381
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc250
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 66°
Oroville
Clear
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Hi: 84° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 65°
Paradise
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 66°
Chester
Clear
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Hi: 74° Lo: 48°
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Red Bluff
Broken Clouds
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Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
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Willows
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 66°
A weak disturbance passed over northern California early this morning, but as expected, it only brought some gusty wind, a few clouds, slightly cooler weather, and no rain. Much bigger changes to our weather will occur this weekend.
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