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Dow closes more than 300 points lower

28 March 2018

USA stock markets are coming off their worst week in more than two years.

CHINA FACTOR: The fears of worsening trade tensions eased after China's government said it is open to negotiating with Washington. Tuesday represented the biggest one-day percentage decline for both the Dow and the Nasdaq since February 8, but only the biggest for the S&P since Friday. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 30.15 points, or 1.9 percent, to 1,513.57.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq slid 211.74 points, or 2.9 percent, to 7,008.81.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained more than 450 points early Monday, after losing more than 1,400 last week.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 45.93 points, or 1.7 percent, to 2,612.62.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 22.50) finished 1.5 points, or 7%, higher. The fingers that point accusingly were pointed at the bond market, where yields on longer-term Treasuries were falling.

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Technology companies accounted for much of the broad rally, which powered the Dow Jones industrial average to a gain of almost 670 points.

The Wall Street Journal reported late Sunday that the United States and China started quietly negotiating to expand USA companies' access to Chinese markets. Shares of Facebook fell 5.2 percent and are down 15 percent for the month. When bond yields decline it can bring down interest rates on mortgages and other loans, making them less profitable for banks. PG&E gained $1.07, or 2.5 percent, to $43.94. The Nasdaq added 29 points, or 0.4 percent, to 7,250.

USA markets fell swiftly earlier this year when he imposed steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added 17 cents to $65.72 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Silver gained 10 cents to $16.68 an ounce.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 105.64 yen from 105.41 yen late Monday. Tech shares fell 3.4% in their biggest one-day decline in about six weeks, while financials shed 1.9%. The stock eked out a gain of 67 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $160.06.

In Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 2.7 percent. Microsoft rose $6.60, or 7.6 percent, to $93.78. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.9 percent to 30,826.59, while the Shanghai Composite index rose 0.9 percent to 3,161.97.

Dow closes more than 300 points lower