(CNBC) -- Stocks fell on Thursday after President Donald Trump slapped tariffs on the European Union, Mexico and Canada, sparking fears the U.S. could enter a trade war with some key partners.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 251 points, with Boeing contributing the most losses to the index. The S&P 500 declined 0.7 percent as consumer staples lagged. The Nasdaq composite, meanwhile, pulled back 0.3 percent.
The Trump administration said tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from EU, Canada and Mexico will take effect at midnight Thursday. The EU followed up the U.S. announcement by saying it would impose countermeasures of its own, while Canada Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said the country plans to slap dollar-for-dollar tariffs on the U.S.
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