USA stocks open higher despite trade war threat

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The broader S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY) plunged 2.1% to 2,588.26, its lowest since February 8.

And while the president has repeatedly touted the success of his policies by pointing to the soaring stock market, the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 3,000 points since it peaked three months ago.

Traders and financial professionals working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the closing bell in December previous year.

The financials sector was the biggest loser among the 11 on the S&P 500.

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The spending plan caps a week that saw indices weighed down by more concerns about a brewing trade war and losses in tech shares after Facebook ( FB ) came under fire. "If it escalates rapidly, it could be a major headwind for the market", Global Markets Advisory Group senior market strategist Peter Kenny said in NY. The Dow shed 1,100 points over the past two trading days.

Stocks around the world plunged Friday as investors feared that a trade conflict between the US and China, the biggest economies in the world, would escalate.

The Dow blue-chip index of 30 bellwether stocks is now firmly in correction territory from its January 26 peak.

Treasurys rose slightly, with the 10-year yield up by less than 1 basis point, at 2.823%.

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The S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite are also in retreat as investors nervously digested the trade volleys coming out of Washington and Beijing. Facebook investors continued to flee in the wake of a data scandal and the semiconductor sector took a fall after Micron Technology's quarterly report stoked fears about falling NAND prices. The S&P 500 fell 56 points, or 2.13%, while the Nasdaq fell 148 points, or 2.23%.

The S&P 500 posted two new 52-week highs and 42 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 23 new highs and 93 new lows. The Nasdaq is still 3 percent in the black despite taking a beating this week.

Volume on United States exchanges was 8.11 billion shares, above the 7.3 billion average for the past 20 trading days.

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