New York (CNN Business)US stock futures slid Sunday night after a weekend of global meetings left little resolved and added confusing signals about the US-China trade war.
Dow (INDU) futures were down about 300 points Sunday evening. S&P (INX) futures and Nasdaq (COMP) futures were both trading down more than 1%.The decline reflects investors’ worries about the impact on markets of another round of tariff hikes from both the United States and China. Earlier this month, President Donald Trump announced in a tweet a new 10% tariff on an additional $300 billion in Chinese goods to be imposed September 1, though the import tax on some of those goods was later delayed. China hit back Friday, with round of retaliatory tariffs on US goods worth $75 billion, also set to start on September 1.After markets closed Friday, Trump said he would raise tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese exports to 30% from 25% in October, and that the tariffs kicking in next week will now be 15%, rather than 10%.Read MoreTrump also tweeted on Friday he “hereby ordered” US companies that do business in China to “immediately start looking for an alternative.” The Dow closed down more than 600 points on Friday.The trade war escalation came just ahead of the meeting of G7 leaders in Bizzarritz, France, this weekend. On Sunday, Trump briefly appeared to express doubts about his approach to the dispute. When reporters asked about the tariffs he told them, “I have second thoughts about everything,” without specifying what exactly he might be rethinking. The White House later said Trump misheard the question.”Actually what he was intending to say is he always has second thoughts and actually had second thoughts about possibly a higher tariff response to China,” Trump’s chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.””It was not to remove the tariff,” he said.After Trump appears to soften on trade war, White House says he wanted higher tariffsTrump also eased his rhetoric on forcing US companies to leave China at the G7, saying there is no current plan to attempt to do that.”Actually, we’re getting along very well with China right now,” Trump said.Many companies have expressed concerns about their ability to operate and turn profits in light of the tariffs and the uncertainty caused by the trade war. This was especially true of the latest new round of tariffs going into effect next week, which applied to many consumer goods, not just the components to make them. And for most major companies, the prospect of leaving China altogether would be hard to imagine after they’ve spent decades building supply chain pipelines in the country.”It’s impossible for businesses to plan for the future in this type of environment,” David French, the National Retail Federation’s senior vice president of Government Relations, said in a statement Friday. “The administration’s approach clearly isn’t working, and the answer isn’t more taxes on American businesses and consumers. Where does this end?”