INSTANT VIEW-U.S. stocks accelerate lower on trade worries

NEW YORK, March 22 (Reuters) - Major U.S. stock indexes fell as much as 2 percent on Thursday, where they were on track for the steepest drop since a Wall Street rout six weeks ago, gripped by the growing threat of a global trade war.

President Donald Trump plans to impose tariffs on Chinese imports, possibly targeting the country's high-technology sector and restricting Chinese investments in the United States. The White House said Trump would sign a presidential memorandum "targeting China's economic aggression" at 12:30 p.m. ET on Thursday. COMMENTS: PETER COSTA, PRESIDENT, EMPIRE EXECUTIONS, NEW YORK The market has been extremely sensitive to anything to do with trade. Because in reality, no one wins a trade war, and if there is going to be any kind of escalation of a trade war with China, lets say, were not going to be winners on that and neither are they. The market is a little spooked from that and anytime you hear that, that definitely puts a sour taste in peoples mouths. "(Facebook) definitely is impacting the tech sector and I think that has some bearing on the fact that tech stocks have been down.

Theres a lot of jitters about. Theres not a lot of positives right now to hang onto because earnings season is over and that is generally where you hang your positive feelings. MARKET REACTION STOCKS: The Dow was down 433 points, or 1.75 percent; The S&P 500 was 1.55 percent lower and the Nasdaq was off 1.75 percent. The Dow and Nasdaq briefly fell more than 2 percent in late morning trade. TREASURIES: The yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.80 percent, on track for its steepest daily percentage fall since early September. VIX: The Cboe volatility index rose to 21.96 Dollar: The U.S. dollar index was up 0.07 percent (Compiled by Alden Bentley)