Stock market closes down more than 700 points

Trader Fred DeMarco, left, works with colleagues in a booth on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, March 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down more than 700 points Thursday on fears of a looming trade war with China.

The Dow finished the day down 723 points, or 2.9 percent.

The Trump administration announced trade sanctions against China Thursday, and Beijing has said it will defend itself.

Industrial and technology companies, which depend heavily on foreign trade, took some of the worst losses.

Boeing, Caterpillar and Microsoft all fell sharply.

Bond prices surged as investors sought cover, sending yields lower. That helped push bank stocks sharply lower too.

High-dividend stocks like utilities, another safe-play investment, rose.

U.S. indexes had their worst drops since February 8.

The S&P 500 index dropped 68 points, or 2.5 percent, to 2,643, erasing its gain for the year.

The Dow sank 724 points, or 2.9 percent, to 23,957. The Nasdaq lost 178 points, or 2.4 percent, to 7,166.
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