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May 17, 2017

U.S. markets suffer steepest losses since Trump election

Trump on the verge of a 'death spiral': Author Pat Ryan

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Concern that U.S. President Donald Trump's reform agenda could be slowed down, and that Trump himself could even face the threat of impeachment, added to disappointing U.S. economic data on Wednesday to hit the dollar and spur a pullback in richly valued stocks.

The Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all suffered their worst single-day losses since September on Wednesday as the growing concerns out of Washington spooked investors. The Dow finished down 370.12 points to close at 20,606.93. The S&P500 lost 43.35 points to land at 2,357.32, while the Nasdaq dipped 158.63 to close at 6,011.24.

All three indices saw there worst percentage declines of 2017, eclipsing lows previously set on March 21.

The S&P/TSX Composite lost 269.65 points to close at 15,237.68.

Reports that Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to end a probe into his former national security adviser have raised questions over whether obstruction of justice charges could be laid against the president.

This follows a week of turmoil at the White House after Trump fired Comey and then discussed sensitive national security information about Islamic State with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. 

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    So far, broadly upbeat global growth has underpinned risky assets and supported the multi-year lows in measures of market volatility.

    “We’ve seen the market be very willing to look past a lot of the drama in Washington, and I think the magnitude of this [Comey memo] issue perhaps relative to the lightning rod that Trump has been for much of his administration and throughout the campaign probably raises the awareness and nervousness of the market a little bit more,” said Craig Fehr, Canadian investment strategist at Edward Jones, in an interview with BNN. 

    Nine of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors fell with the only gain from utilities and real estate, defensive sectors with predictable if slow growth and high dividends.

    Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 3.92-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 5.64-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

    The S&P 500 posted 11 new 52-week highs and 19 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 28 new highs and 93 new lows.

    About 8.37 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges in the busiest trading day since March 21, compared with the 6.9 billion-share average for the last 20 sessions.

    -- With files from BNN

     

    It may be too soon for markets to panic on Trump news: Trader

    BNN heads to the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange to speaks with Jonathan Corpina of Meridian Equity Partners. He says the market is still healthy and the U.S. economy is strong, so it's not time to panic just yet.