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US futures fall on trade worries, Dow implied open more than 100 points in the red

  • Investors were rattled after the Trump administration unveiled tariffs designed to punish China for intellectual property theft, imposing about $60 billion in retaliatory charges.
  • "Trump's protectionism is making investors nervous," notes one analyst.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York.

U.S. stock futures traded lower on Thursday night after the major indexes suffered steep losses amid growing trade concerns.

As of 8:24 p.m. ET, the implied open for the Dow was more than 100 points lower. And the implied opens for both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were also in the red.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 724 points on Thursday and closed just outside correction territory, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite dropped 2.5 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively.

Investors were rattled after the Trump administration unveiled tariffs designed to punish China for intellectual property theft, imposing about $60 billion in retaliatory charges.

Equities have been under pressure recently as President Donald Trump moves forward with his protectionist trade agenda. Trump implemented tariffs on steel and aluminum and aluminum imports earlier this month.

"Trump's protectionism is making investors nervous," Dario Perkins, managing director of global macro at TS Lombard, said in a note Thursday. "Past experience suggests these policies are flawed, while even moderate trade barriers could disrupt today's complex global supply chains."

Stocks were also under pressure as the technology sector declined. The PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQ), which tracks the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 index, dropped 2.5 percent. Tech has been under pressure lately as Facebook shares decline on news that Cambridge Analytica gathered data from 50 million Facebook profiles without the permission of its users.