Trump quips Dow dropped because of Moulton's exit from 2020 race

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMarine unit in Florida reportedly pushing to hold annual ball at Trump property Giuliani clashes with CNN's Cuomo, calls him a 'sellout' and the 'enemy' Giuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it MORE on Friday joked about a precipitous drop in the stock market following a series of tweets lashing out at China, quipping that it was perhaps spurred by Rep. Seth MoultonSeth MoultonYoung insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight Wall Street ends volatile month in major test for Trump The Hill's Morning Report — Hurricane headed for Florida changes Trump's travel plans MORE (D-Mass.) dropping out of the Democratic presidential primary.

"The Dow is down 573 points perhaps on the news that Representative Seth Moulton, whoever that may be, has dropped out of the 2020 Presidential Race!" Trump tweeted.

Moulton, a former Marine and three-term congressman, announced Friday morning he would no longer seek the Democratic nomination. He told reporters in response to Trump's tweet that he's "glad [Trump] thinks I have more influence on the Dow than he does."

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average had lost roughly 2 percentage points on the day amid an escalation of the trade war between the U.S. and China. The S&P 500 was similarly down roughly 2 percent for the day, and the NASDAQ had lost nearly 3 percentage points.

The sell-off began after Trump tweeted earlier Friday that he wanted U.S. companies to seek "an alternative" to doing business in China after Beijing pledged to impose $75 billion in retaliatory tariffs on American cars, farm products and other goods.

"Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA," Trump tweeted.

He promised a response to the Chinese tariffs on Friday afternoon, though he had not announced one as of 3 p.m. and the White House has not indicated there will be a formal statement.

The president does not have the authority to dictate how private businesses operate, though his request was not entirely new. Trump has for years attempted to persuade U.S. companies to do more business domestically, and has increased those efforts through the implementation of tariffs.