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Dow Jones industrials drop 723 points as worries over trade tensions with China rattle markets

NEW YORK — Stocks plunged, sending the Dow Jones industrials down more than 700 points, as investors feared that trade tensions will spike between the U.S. and China.

The Trump administration announced trade sanctions against China Thursday, and Beijing has said it will defend itself.

Industrial and technology companies, which depend heavily on foreign trade, took some of the worst losses.

Boeing, Caterpillar and Microsoft all fell sharply.

Bond prices surged as investors sought cover, sending yields lower.

High-dividend stocks like utilities, another safe-play investment, rose.

U.S. indexes had their worst drops since February 8.

The S&P 500 index dropped 68 points, or 2.5 percent, to 2,643, erasing its gain for the year.

The Dow sank 724 points, or 2.9 percent, to 23,957. The Nasdaq lost 178 points, or 2.4 percent, to 7,166.