U.S. equity indexes plunged Tuesday, although they closed above intra-day lows, after President Donald Trump suggested a trade deal with China might be pushed until after the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 279.56 points to 27,503.48 while the S&P 500 fell 20.61 points to 3,093.26 and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 47.34 points to 8,520.64.

Volume on the New York Stock Exchange totaled 2.89 billion shares with 1,143 issues advancing, 27 setting new highs, and 1,822 declining, with 65 setting new lows.

Active movers were led by Cleveland-Cliffs (CLF), Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Bank of America (BAC).

Speaking in London at the NATO conference, Trump said: “A China trade deal is dependent on one thing -- do I want to make it?” Then he added: “I have no deadline, no. In some ways, I think it’s better to wait until after the election if you want to know the truth. But I’m not going to say that, I just think that.”

Trump’s comments came ahead of a Dec. 15 deadline that could see the U.S. slap more tariffs on Chinese goods.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC Trump was under no “time pressure” to make a deal with China and the next round of tariffs on Chinese goods would probably happen unless there was “some real reason to postpone them.”

Ian Lyngen, head of U.S. rates strategy at BMO Capital Markets, wrote that the ongoing trade dispute with China could become a “semi-permanent facet of global commerce throughout next year."

On another trade front, the Trump administration has threatened to impose tariffs of up to 100% on $2.4 billion of French goods, including cheese, champagne, housewares and handbags in retaliation for France’s digital services tax on foreign tech companies.

Bruno Le Maire, the French minister of the economy said the threat was “unacceptable” and that the European Union would challenge it.

The U.S. saw a busy retail holiday shopping weekend. Adobe projected Cyber Monday sales of at least $9.2 billion, a 16.9% jump from last year.

Overnight in Asia, markets finished mixed. The Hang Seng fell 0.2% while Japan’s Nikkei-225 dropped 0.64% and China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.31%

European markets finished mixed with the FTSE 100 down 1.75% while Germany's DAX edged up 0.19% and France's CAC 40 dropped 1.03%.

Crude oil futures gained 0.63% to $56.31 per barrel and Brent crude edged up 0.33% at $61.02. Gold futures gained 0.94%.

The euro was up 0.02% to $1.08 while the pound sterling rose 0.43% at $1.2997.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note plunged 6.92% to 1.709% while yield on the 30-year Treasury dropped 5.47% to 2.16%.