Fear of trade war sends stocks plummeting

The stock markets were jittery all day long on Thursday. The markets opened lower and the losses just accelerated as the president announced a tariff against China. The Dow Jones Industrial Average threw out 724 points and closed at 23,957.89.

Potential trade wars have been worrying Wall Street since President Trump first brought up steel and aluminum tariffs earlier this month.

That intensified Thursday when the president signed an executive memorandum with an objective to punish China for intellectual property theft. It hit China with $60 billion in retaliatory tariffs on Chinese imports.

The president, however, prefers a different word.

"Some people call it a mirror tariff or a mirror tax. Just use the word 'reciprocal,'" Trump said. "If they charge us, we charge them the same thing. That's the way it's got to be."

China was quick to say it will "certainly take all necessary measures to resolutely defend" itself. A few hours later, the government raised tariffs on U.S. pork, aluminum, and other goods.

The concern is that this will escalate into a full-blown trade war that could really hurt the global supply chain.