Published: Wed, September 06, 2017
Economy | By Guillermo Lane

Banks, technology companies lead U.S. stocks lower

Banks, technology companies lead U.S. stocks lower

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 234 points, or 1.07%, to 21,753, the S&P 500 lost 19 points, or 0.76%, to 2,458 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 60 points, or 0.93%, to 6,376.

About 6.7 billion shares changed hands on USA exchanges, above the 5.8 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.

Technology companies also fell sharply.

The CBOE Volatility index, the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, rose 2.10 points to 12.23. Energy companies are bucking the slide as the price of crude oil heads higher.

Panasonic was down 0.58 percent at 1,440 yen, while market heavyweight and Uniqlo casual clothing firm Fast Retailing was down 1.53 percent at 30,870 yen. All told, the financial sector fell 2.2 percent Tuesday, the biggest decliner in the S&P 500.

Escalating tensions between the USA and North Korea have rattled the financial markets as they reopened, as the prospect for nuclear war drove investors into safe haven assets. U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed economic action against Pyongyang.

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Investors' nerves on Tuesday also may have been heightened by news of a powerful storm heading to the southern USA closely on the heels of devastation in Texas from Hurricane Harvey.

U.S. markets were closed on Monday for the annual Labor Day holiday, but when trading restarted on Tuesday the Dow Jones fell 92.61 points to 21,894.95.

The stronger yen also weighed on global exporting companies such as Japan's auto giants, with Toyota down 1.17 percent at 6,146 yen, Honda lower by 0.68 percent at 3,036 yen and Nissan off 1.00 percent at 1,081.5 yen.

"The North Korean nuclear crisis returned to the forefront of investors' minds this Wednesday, with yesterday's Dow Jones [Industrial Average] plunge and a jittery Asian session overnight leading the European indices into the red", said Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex.

In the currency markets, sterling is flat against the dollar at 0.07% to $1.3040 and higher against the euro at 0.18% to €1.0916. Shares in Rockwell rose 1%.

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