Stocks fall on Trump tweets, trade fears

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell at the start of trading Monday, perhaps in response to worries about trade talks with China.

The DJIA benchmark was trading early Monday at 26,179.15, down 325.80 or just over 1 percent.

President Donald Trump pledged Sunday to raise U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods this week and target hundreds of billions more soon, in a possible indication that trade talks between the two countries have taken a turn for the worse.

“The United States has been losing, for many years, 600 to 800 billion dollars a year on trade,” Trump tweeted early Monday. “With China we lose 500 billion dollars. Sorry, we’re not going to be doing that anymore!”

Generally, recent economic news has been promising.

On Friday, the government reported that U.S. employers added 263,000 new jobs in April — a better-than-expected number — and the unemployment rate declined to 3.6 percent, the lowest rate in nearly half a century, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

Friday’s report marked a full year with unemployment pegged at four percent or lower.

While Trump and his administration have offered a generally optimistic assessment of trade negoations with China in recent months, over the weekend, Trump assumed a new tone.

“The trade deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!,” the president tweeted Sunday.