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Mark Gongloff

The Trade War Threat Is Real and It Is Spectacular

Markets are right to worry about a breakdown in China talks.

Weapons of profit destruction.

Weapons of profit destruction.

Photographer: AFP/Getty Images

In the end, the trade-war freakout was only delayed by a day.

Markets opened the week spooked by President Donald Trump’s threat to escalate trade tensions with China, but quickly seemed to decide everything would be fine. Then they were disabused of that notion last night by Trump’s trade team, and the agita resumed in earnest today. The S&P 500 suffered its worst sell-off since January, falling more than 2 percent at one point.