A Bloomberg report that the White House is considering another $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports caused a bad trading day to get worse for the major averages Thursday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.53%, or 138 points to 25,987, while the S&P 500 fell 0.44%, or 13 points to 2,901, and the Nasdaq declined 0.26%, or 21 points to 8,088.
EU Official Proposes Dropping Car Tariffs
The European Union is considering dropping tariffs on all U.S. auto imports, going around the recent U.S./EU trade agreement, if the U.S. would be willing to do the same for European autos.
Cecilia Malmstrom, the EU's top trade official, told members of the EU parliament that the trading bloc would be open to making concessions if the U.S. would reciprocate.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Malmstrom's comments were less of a policy statement and more of an insight into her negotiation strategy.
Moody's Downgrades Ford's Credit Rating to Just Above Junk Status
Shares of Ford (F) are down more than 2% Thursday after analysts at Moody's downgraded to company's credit line to Baa3, which puts it just above speculative, or "junk" status.
The rating is a reflection of Moody's estimation of how likely Ford is to default on its debt. A negative rating from Moody's could make it harder for Ford to secure further financing in the future.
According to a statement made to the Detroit Free Press, Moody's downgraded "reflects the erosion in the company's global business position and the challenges it will face implementing its Fitness Redesign program."
Micron Technology Is Investing $3 Billion in Virginia Plant
Micron (MU) sees so much increased demand for microchips in vehicles that the company has planned a $3 billion expansion of its Virginia production plant, CEO Sanjay Mehrotra told Reuters.
Micron expects the market for chips in vehicles to double to $6 billion by 2021. "Think of the automobiles of the future as data centers on wheels," Mehrotra said.
The money allows for the 100,000 square foot expansion of "clean room" space for making memory chips at the company's factory, which currently employs about 1,500 people.
Micron shares are up more than 2% Thursday.
SoftBank Pulls Out of Investment in Chinese Tesla Rival
SoftBank is going back on plans to invest in Chinese electric-vehicle maker NIO Inc. just months after the company was in talks to make the investment, sources told the Wall Street Journal.
SoftBank was reportedly interested in investing $200 million into the company's IPO.
NIO, which markets itself as a Tesla (TSLA) rival, has announced plans to go public on the New York Stock Exchange. The company launched a stock sale earlier this week that could raise up to $1.32 billion The company is selling 160 million American depositary receipts at a price between $6.25 and $8.25.
If NIO raises the maximum amount it could be valued at up to $8.5 billion.
Amazon Marches Past $2,000 a Share on Its Way to Trillion Valuation
Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) has had a tremendous run in recent years, and Thursday, August 30, that run culminated in the stock crossing $2,000 for the first time ever.
Amazon shares at last check rose 4.9% to $2,003, a new intraday high for the online retailing giant.
Amazon shares have risen 600% over the past five years.
Amazon shares jumped more than 3% during Wednesday's session after analysts at Morgan Stanley raised the company's price target to $2,500 from $1,850.
The firm is bullish on the company's high margin revenue streams, which Morgan Stanley believes will drive higher profitability.
Campbell Soup Is Set to Sell International Business
Campbell Soup announced that it is looking for interested buyers for its Bolthouse Farms, Garden Fresh, Arnott's and Kelsen brands as it looks to focus on its North American business.
Those international brands generate over $2 billion in revenue annually, according to the Wall Street Journal.
"We will pursue further actions in addition to those...to optimize our performance," Interim Chief Executive Keith McLoughlin said.
Campbell's shares are falling 1.6% Thursday premarket.
U.S. futures are trading in the red Thursday morning as markets look to keep the momentum from a strong week of trading in the final few sessions of August.
Dow futures are falling 0.23%, indicating an open 61 points lower, while S&P futures declined 0.14%, indicating an open 4 points lower, and Nasdaq futures are falling 0.15%, indicating an open 12 points lower.
Asian markets were mostly lower, with the Shanghai Composite and Hang Seng falling 1.14% and 0.89% respectively. The Nikkei rose 0.09%.
In Europe, the FTSE 100 fell 0.55%, the DAX fell 0.34%, and the CAC 40 declined 0.24% with about four hours left in trading.