U.S. Stocks Fall Sharply At The Open As Political Uncertainty Grows, Volatility Spikes

By Ryan Vlastelica Markets MarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stocks opened lower on Wednesday as the latest bit of political turmoil cast further doubt about whether President Donald Trump could move forward with a legislative agenda that Wall Street sees as necessary to justifying market valuations. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 176 points, or 0.8%, to 20,806. The S&P 500 slumped 16 points to 2,384, a decline of 0.7%. Wednesday was the biggest one-day drop for the S&P in more than a month. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 56 points, or 0.9%, to 6,113. The CBOE Volatility Index surged 19% and was on track for its biggest daily jump since September. The day's losses were widespread, with nine of the S&P 500's 11 primary sectors down on the day. Among the biggest decliners were financials , which shed 1.5%. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lost 1.9% in early trading while Bank of America sank 3%.

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