NEW YORK – Wall Street stocks tumbled for the second straight day, with the New York Stock Exchange’s blue-chip index moving down nearly 500 points on Wednesday amid accelerating recession fears and an impeachment inquiry targeting US President Donald Trump.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 1.86 percent, or 494.42 points, at 26,078.62, while the S&P 500 finished 1.79 percent, or 52.64 points, lower at 2,887.61.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index fell 1.56 percent, or 123.44 points, to 7,785.25.
Sectors across the board finished in the red, with energy down 2.61 percent, financials falling 2.1 percent, technology off 1.98 percent and industrials and basic materials 1.97 percent and 1.87 percent lower, respectively.
Among the 30 Dow components, only Johnson & Johnson (up 1.55 percent) finished in the black, while Walgreens Boots Alliance led the way with a 3.42 percent decline, followed by American Express, down 3.29 percent.
Chevron was off 3.21 percent and Coca-Cola and Intel were 2.87 percent and 2.7 percent lower, respectively.
The sharp downturn in US stock prices began Tuesday on news that a measure of United States manufacturing activity had reached its lowest point in more than a decade. The Dow fell 344 points on Tuesday and has moved down more than 800 points over the past two days.
The bad economic news continued on Wednesday, with the ADP National Employment Report showing that average private-sector job growth for the three months ending in September was down compared to the same period last year.
That slowdown is seen by economists as a sign that businesses are exercising caution due to global economic woes and uncertainty surrounding the US-China trade war.
Recession fears not only are taking a toll on Wall Street, since nearly all global stock markets moved lower on Wednesday due to the same concerns.
US President Donald Trump, for his part, said on Wednesday that last week’s decision by the speaker of the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, to launch an impeachment inquiry was the reason for the market downturn.
“All of this impeachment nonsense, which is going nowhere, is driving the Stock Market, and your 401K’s, down. But that is exactly what the Democrats want to do. They are willing to hurt the Country, with only the 2020 Election in mind!” Trump tweeted.