Wall Street drops; Pelosi says to start formal impeachment inquiry
By Caroline Valetkevitch NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell in volatile trade on Tuesday, giving the S&P 500 its biggest daily drop in a month as a push for the impeachment of U.S
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell in volatile trade on Tuesday, giving the S&P 500 its biggest daily drop in a month as a push for the impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump gained momentum among Democrats in the U.S. Congress.
After the bell, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as expected, said the House of Representatives will launch a formal inquiry into whether Trump should be impeached, saying actions taken by the Republican president had seriously violated the U.S. Constitution.
The inquiry will examine whether Trump sought Ukraine's help to smear former Vice President Joe Biden, the front-runner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Support among Democrats for the start of impeachment proceedings increased after news related to the charge.
Further pressuring Wall Street during Tuesday's session, disappointing consumer confidence data underscored concerns over the economic impact of a prolonged U.S.-China trade war.
Stocks briefly pared losses in late-afternoon trading after Trump, in a tweet, said his administration would release a complete transcript of a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that is at the centre of the controversy.
He said the released transcript would show the call was "totally appropriate," that he had not pressured Zelenskiy to investigate Biden, and that there had been no quid pro quo of U.S. aid in exchange for a probe.
"What all of that combined is going to do is ensure there is going to be elevated (market) volatility in both directions in the next few days," said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.
The Cboe volatility index <.VIX> ended the session near a three-week high. The S&P 500 retail index <.SPXRT> fell 1.4%, while Amazon.com
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 142.22 points, or 0.53%, to 26,807.77, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 25.18 points, or 0.84%, to 2,966.6 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 118.84 points, or 1.46%, to 7,993.63.
Wall Street's major indexes lost their footing early, when Trump took a harsh tone about China's trade practices.
Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago, said the trade war was likely a bigger issue than possible impeachment proceedings for the market right now.
"I don't know how strong the case is for impeachment, so I don't know what will happen with that. We react first and think later," he said.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 2.20-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 3.43-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 31 new 52-week highs and two new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 36 new highs and 96 new lows.
Volume on U.S. exchanges was 7.68 billion shares, compared to the 7.2 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.
(Additional reporting by Ambar Warrick, Arjun Panchadar and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by David Gregorio and Tom Brown)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.