Stocks slump after Trump signals delays for China trade deal

Stocks sank on Tuesday after President Donald Trump suggested a long-awaited trade deal with China could be delayed until after the 2020 election and said he doesn’t have a deadline for clinching an agreement. The Dow dropped more than 400 points, while the S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq also lost ground.

Before the markets opened on Tuesday, Mr. Trump told reporters the trade war could last well into 2020. “I think in some ways it’s better to wait until after the election for the China deal,” he said. “But they want to make a deal now. It’s got to be right.”

The comments come as Mr. Trump picks other fights on trade, with France vowed to retaliate after the Trump administration threatened U.S. tariffs on French goods. That suggests “the transatlantic trade war is about the enter an ugly phase,” according to OANDA senior market analyst Edward Moya. 

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Mr. Trump on Monday also said he would restore tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from Brazil and Argentina. The Dow fell 404 points, or almost 1.5%, to 27,378 in early trading. The S&P lost 1.1%, while the Nasdaq shed 1.2%.