Wall Street braces for tariffs after Gary Cohn resignation

Wall Street is preparing for steep tariffs as Gary Cohn leaves the White House.The Dow fell sharply on Wednesd...

Posted: Mar 9, 2018 10:50 AM
Updated: Mar 9, 2018 10:50 AM

Wall Street is preparing for steep tariffs as Gary Cohn leaves the White House.

The Dow fell sharply on Wednesday -- by as much as 349 points. It recovered some of those losses for a while, but selling accelerated at midday.

The White House announced after the markets closed Tuesday that Cohn, President Trump's top economic adviser, was resigning. He disagreed with Trump's planned tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum.

"His departure has caught investors off guard," said Alec Young, FTSE Russell's managing director of global markets research.

Investors were holding out hope that Trump would soften his vow to impose a tariff of 25% on imported steel and 10% on aluminum. Wall Street fears broad tariffs will be the opening salvo in a trade war that could damage the economy.

Cohn's resignation "signals that the Trump administration is absolutely going to move forward with tariffs and the risk of a trade war is now more elevated," said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at Independent Advisor Alliance.

Related: Gary Cohn's exit stokes fears that Trump will fight a trade war

Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network, said the prospect of tariffs will "hurt business and investor confidence, which are two of the pillars holding up the markets."

Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs president, helped design Trump's tax cuts and was one of the administration's leading proponents of free trade. He served as a calming influence on the market.

"He was seen as the voice of economic stability and a spokesperson for financial markets. His resignation leaves the president with a set of economic advisors largely seen as outside of the mainstream, or at least perceived as less aligned with Wall Street interests," said McMillan.

Trump's tariff announcement last week shook Wall Street and led to backlash from top US trading partners, including Canada and the European Union.

The markets recovered on Monday and Tuesday, as investors gained confidence that House Speaker Paul Ryan and other top Republicans would soften Trump's position on tariffs. Cohn's resignation leaves one less voice in the White House to push back.

Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist for LPL Financial, said trade will "continue to be a source of increased market volatility" as more details emerge about the tariffs.

NAFTA talks are also looming in the background. Trump has threatened to tear up the 1994 trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico. The three countries have made little progress on a re-negotiated deal since beginning talks in August.

-CNN's Matt Egan contributed to this report.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313166

Reported Deaths: 7228
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21496257
Hinds20294414
Harrison17814309
Rankin13573278
Jackson13411246
Madison10066217
Lee9962173
Jones8364163
Forrest7649152
Lauderdale7181240
Lowndes6370145
Lamar621686
Lafayette6171118
Washington5323133
Bolivar4797132
Oktibbeha461498
Panola4561105
Pearl River4499145
Marshall4397103
Warren4380121
Pontotoc419572
Monroe4100133
Union409076
Neshoba4026176
Lincoln3950110
Hancock377786
Leflore3487125
Sunflower335790
Tate332484
Pike3301105
Scott315373
Alcorn311968
Yazoo310769
Itawamba299477
Copiah296465
Simpson294788
Coahoma294379
Tippah287768
Prentiss279560
Adams269582
Marion268880
Leake266273
Wayne262341
Grenada260386
Covington256381
George246848
Newton246061
Winston226881
Tishomingo225967
Jasper220848
Attala214173
Chickasaw207157
Holmes188673
Clay184754
Stone182033
Tallahatchie178140
Clarke177879
Calhoun170132
Yalobusha163337
Smith162234
Walthall133845
Greene130333
Lawrence128323
Montgomery126742
Noxubee126734
Perry125938
Amite122842
Carroll121728
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis106932
Tunica104826
Claiborne102230
Benton99125
Humphreys96133
Kemper95428
Franklin83623
Quitman80216
Choctaw76118
Wilkinson66930
Jefferson65428
Sharkey50317
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 530988

Reported Deaths: 10978
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson765291522
Mobile40971804
Madison34751503
Tuscaloosa25775452
Montgomery24329589
Shelby23431249
Baldwin21131308
Lee15884171
Calhoun14501314
Morgan14293279
Etowah13831353
Marshall12222223
Houston10567281
Elmore10061205
Limestone9960151
Cullman9664193
St. Clair9655243
Lauderdale9424241
DeKalb8830186
Talladega8223176
Walker7235277
Autauga6920108
Jackson6810112
Blount6660137
Colbert6298134
Coffee5511119
Dale4831111
Russell441138
Chilton4290112
Franklin425782
Covington4121118
Tallapoosa4027152
Escambia393376
Chambers3563123
Dallas3551151
Clarke351061
Marion3118101
Pike310877
Lawrence300298
Winston274472
Bibb260764
Geneva249977
Marengo249764
Pickens234461
Barbour230857
Hale222977
Butler215969
Fayette212362
Henry188744
Cherokee184845
Randolph180241
Monroe177440
Washington167339
Macon159150
Clay156256
Crenshaw152257
Cleburne148941
Lamar142535
Lowndes138853
Wilcox127130
Bullock123041
Conecuh110529
Perry107726
Coosa107228
Sumter104532
Greene92334
Choctaw60624
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