U.S. stock-index futures rose along with global stocks early Friday, as markets struggled to shake off this week's plunge blamed on fears about rising interest rates and the impact of President Trump's trade wars on looming corporate earnings reports. On Thursday, the S&P 500 fell by 2.1 percent, its sixth straight day of losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also fell by 2.1 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite lost 1.3 percent.
Analysts warned that stocks could face renewed pressure if earnings season gets off to a bumpy start. "People fear that it will be harder to snap back if we're seeing a cyclical top in earnings with those two headwinds, which are not going away," Michael O'Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut, told Reuters. Harold Maass
President Trump announced Thursday that next week he will formally impose a tariff of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports — news that sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbling more than 500 points, or more than 2 percent.
— Bloomberg (@business) March 1, 2018
Treasury Department officials had been concerned about the market reaction during debates Wednesday night over announcing the tariffs, although by late Thursday morning it appeared critics of the plan had temporarily stalled such a public declaration, Politico reports. Trump then made the announcement during a listening session, and tweeted: "We must not let our country, companies, and workers be taken advantage of any longer. We want free, fair, and SMART TRADE!" Jeva Lange
China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dropped 8.5 percent in early Monday trading, wiping out the year's gains, as a string of weak economic data and Beijing's recent currency devaluations sent investors scrambling to safer assets. Other bourses in the region followed suit, with benchmark indexes from Hong Kong to Australia shedding more than 2 percent.
"Markets are panicking," said analyst Takako Masai at Shinsei Bank in Tokyo. "Things are starting look like the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s. Speculators are selling assets that seem the most vulnerable." China is the world's No. 2 economy, and investors are betting that its economic slowdown is worse than official government data indicates. With Monday's losses, the Shanghai Composite is down about 37 percent from mid-June. Peter Weber