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US markets end lower on possibility of new US tariffs against China

Snapping their four-day winning streak, the US markets ended lower on Thursday with the Dow falling back below 26,000 mark, on a report that President Donald Trump intends to move ahead with plans to impose tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports as early as next week. Trump intends to impose the tariffs after a public comment period ends next Thursday, September 6. Trade-related news has played a central role in the market recently amid worries that heightened tensions between US and its major trading partners could not only hamper US economic growth but derail the global economy at large. Further, uncertainty about trade talks between the US and Canada also weighed on the markets ahead of a Friday deadline to reach a deal.

On the economic front, the Labor Department released a report showing a modest uptick in initial jobless claims in the week ended August 25. The report said initial jobless claims crept up to 213,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 210,000. Street had expected jobless claims to edge up to 214,000. Meanwhile, a separate report released by the Commerce Department showed personal income and spending both increased in line with economist estimates in the month of July. The Commerce Department said personal income rose by 0.3% in July after climbing by 0.4% in June. The increase in income matched expectations. The report also said personal spending climbed by 0.4% in July, matching the increase in the previous month as well as street estimates.

Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 137.65 points or 0.53 percent to 25986.92, the S&P 500 declined 12.91 points or 0.44 percent to 2901.13 and Nasdaq was down by 21.32 points or 0.26 percent to 8088.36.

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