Stocks weren't the only thing tumbling on Thursday. The yield on the benchmark 10-Year US Treasury fell as well -- another sign that investors are growing increasingly nervous about the impact that trade tension with China will have on America's economy.
The 10-Year Treasury was yielding about 2.35% Thursday morning. That's its lowest level since December 2017. Bond yields tend to fall when investors are worried about sluggish growth.
Low rates are a global phenomenon. German 10-Year bund yields are trading in negative territory because of worries about weak economic data in Germany and the rest of Europe. Yields are negative in Japan as well and the rate on the 10-Year British gilt fell below 1%.
Bond investors are clearly betting that if the US and China don't come to a trade deal soon, the world's two largest economies could suffer. And that could drag down the global economy. That might finally push the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates -- even though the Fed indicated in the minutes of its most recent meeting released Wednesday that it had no plans to do so just yet.