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US stocks were just shaken from their slumber.
After 15 straight days without a move bigger than 0.5% – the longest such streak since 1969 – the S&P 500 fell 1.7% on Wednesday, its biggest decline since September 9.
The decline came after a report that President Donald Trump in February asked James Comey, the FBI director whom he fired last week, to drop an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
The news triggered a global sell-off, with Asian and European markets falling and the dollar lower. The US stocks benchmark opened lower, and selling worsened as the day progressed.
Nine of the S&P 500’s 11 main groups fell on Wednesday, including losses of more than 1.1% for eight. The biggest declines were in financial and technology stocks, which dropped more than 2.8%. Raw-material producers and industrial firms were right behind, both sliding at least 2%
Market anxiety was also reflected by the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, a barometer of investor nervousness. The so-called fear gauge spiked 46%, the most since June 24, after hovering close to its lowest recorded level for the last few weeks.
And now the scoreboard, and a roundup of Business Insider’s coverage of market moves:
Dow: 20,606.93, -372.82, (-1.78%) S&P 500: 2,357.03, -43.64 (-1.82%) Nasdaq: 6,011.24, -158.63 (-2.57%) US 10-year yield: 2.22%, (-0.10) WTI crude: $48.97, +0.31, (+0.64%)
1. Now we know what it takes for Wall Street to wake up to Trump risk.
2. The Trump trade got whacked.
3. Two powerful forces will now compete for supremacy in the stock market.
4. The US dollar has erased nearly all its postelection gains.
5. The price of gold is surging.
6. European stocks had a horrible day.
7. Republicans are forging ahead on tax reform and healthcare proposals amid the Trump bombshells.