March 7, 2018 / 2:13 PM / 13 days ago

US STOCKS-Wall St to open lower as Cohn's exit adds to trade war fears

* ADP report shows private employers added 235,000 jobs in Feb

* Dollar Tree slumps after same-store sales miss estimates

* Abercrombie gains after upbeat holiday qtr report

* Futures down: Dow 254 pts, S&P 19.75 pts, Nasdaq 41.5 pts (Adds comment, details; updates prices)

By Sruthi Shankar

March 7 (Reuters) - The Dow Jones Industrial Average was set to drop more than 200 points at open on Wednesday after the exit of free trade backer Gary Cohn triggered concerns that President Donald Trump may move ahead with his threat to impose hefty metal tariffs and ignite a global trade war.

Manufacturing giants Boeing and Caterpillar slipped 2 percent in premarket trading, while General Electric dipped 0.7 percent after Deutsche Bank analysts warned of the potential impact from Trump’s planned tariffs on steel and aluminum.

“It’s more of the same jitters we had seen recently, with investors in this case fearing that a lack of confidence in the tariffs by Trump’s own people,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at New Vines Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

“Investors are taking risk off the table to see how much more damage in the administration this will cause.”

Futures pared some losses after the ADP’s National Employment Report showed that private employers added 235,000 jobs in February, compared with Reuters estimate of 195,000.

A more comprehensive report that includes hiring in both public and private sectors is due on Friday.

By 8:59 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 252 points, S&P 500 e-minis fell 18.75 points and Nasdaq 100 e-minis declined 40.75 points.

Cohn, the architect of the tax overhaul enacted in December, resigned on Tuesday, a move that came after he lost a fight over Trump’s plans for hefty import tariffs.

Cohn, a former president and chief operating officer of investment bank Goldman Sachs, was seen as a stabilizing force within the Trump administration.

The Federal Reserve will publish its Beige Book, a compendium of anecdotes on the health of the economy, in the afternoon. The Fed’s next policy meeting is scheduled for March 20-21.

Among other stocks, discount store operator Dollar Tree slumped 12 percent after reporting disappointing holiday quarter results.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co jumped 5 percent after the teen fashion retailer beat analysts’ estimates for holiday quarter sales at established stores. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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