The U.S. stock market early Wednesday was on pace to log its worst daily decline in months, as concerns about President Donald Trump's Federal Bureau of Investigation controversy weighed on investor sentiment.
Trump had asked Comey to end a probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's ties with Russian Federation, the reports said. "Is it delayed or is it dead?" The S&P 500 financial sector (.SPSY) sank 2.5 percent, led by losses in Bank of America (BAC.N) and JPMorgan (JPM.N).
Goldman Sachs (GS.N) was the biggest drag among the 25 decliners on the Dow.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was down 172.66 points, or 0.82 percent, at 20,807.09, the S&P 500 .SPX was down 18.86 points, or 0.78 percent, at 2,381.81 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 58.66 points, or 0.95 percent, at 6,111.22. The euro hit its highest level since November 7, while prices of gold hit a one-month high.
Volatility Index (VIX), also known as Wall Street's "fear gauge", soared to 12.8 points Wednesday morning, setting itself on course for the biggest one-day percentage gain in the index since August, Reuters reports.
Nine of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were lower.
Leonard's down, but Spurs not out
Game 2 will be an uphill battle for San Antonio, but there'll certainly be a sense of urgency throughout the locker room. With his Spurs up by more than 20 in the third quarter, Kawhi Leonard had to exit the game due to another ankle injury.
Utilities (.SPLRCU) and real estate (.SPLRCR) sectors - preferred investment options in times of uncertainty due to their slow but predictable growth - were higher.
AbbVie (ABBV.N) slipped 2.4 percent to $65.25 after Coherus BioSciences (CHRS.O) received a favorable patent ruling against AbbVie's Humira drug.
Alternative lender Home Capital Group Inc, which reported a further decline in its deposit balances, saw shares stumble 7.0 per cent.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 2,211 to 624. On the Nasdaq, 2,249 issues fell and 433 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed six new 52-week highs and 17 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 21 new highs and 66 new lows.
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