US stocks closed lower on Tuesday, with equities dropping in a broad decline, amid uncertainty in Washington stemming from the dismissal of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 105 points, or 0.42%, to 25,074, the S&P 500 lost 14 points, or 0.49%, to 2,769 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 62 points, or 0.82%, to 7,526.
US President Donald Trump fired Tillerson after a series of public rifts over issues including North Korea and Russia. Steve Goldstein, a State Department undersecretary of state for public affairs, was also fired, soon after releasing a statement that Tillerson did not know why he was being pushed out.
Trump has tapped CIA Director Mike Pompeo, seen as loyal to the president, to replace Tillerson.
Stocks gained earlier during the day after data showed US consumer price growth slowed in February, an indication that an anticipated pickup in inflation probably will be only gradual.
Tech and financial shares were the biggest laggards among the S&P 500’s 11 major sectors. Shares of Microsoft Corp. were down 2.4% while Alphabet Inc. fell 2.2%. Facebook Inc. fell 1.6%.
Financial stocks were weighed as US Treasury yields fell in response to the CPI data and Tillerson’s exit.
In corporate news, General Electric Co fell 4.3% after JP Morgan cut its price target on the stock to $11 from $14, saying the industrial conglomerate was not a “safety stock” in a volatile market.
Shares of Qualcomm Inc. fell 5% after Trump on Monday blocked Broadcom Ltd’s $117 billion hostile bid for the semiconductor company, citing national security concerns.
DSW Inc. shares rallied 11% after the footwear retailer posted quarterly results. Stitch Fix Inc. shares fell 3.6% after the online clothing retailer beat Wall Street’s forecasts for sales, but missed on revenue.
In Asia, share markets fell on Wednesday in morning session, tracking losses seen on Wall Street overnight.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.94%. Over in Seoul, the benchmark Kospi edged down by 0.6%. In Sydney, the ASX/S&P 200 lost 0.81%.
In Greater China, the Hang Seng Index fell 1.15%, while on the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.39%.