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Overnight Markets: S&P tumbles to worst loss in 3 months

Overnight Markets: S&P tumbles to worst loss in 3 months

US stocks declined on Thursday, with the S&P 500 recording its biggest daily percentage drop in three months, amid increasing concerns about the Trump administration's ability to push through its economic agenda.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 274 points, or 1.24%, to 21,751, the S&P 500 lost 38 points, or 1.54%, to 2,430 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 123 points, or 1.94%, to 6,222.

Investors appeared to be losing faith in the Trump administration's ability to move forward with tax cuts and the rest of its domestic economic agenda, according to some strategists. The latest cause for concern was speculation over the possible departure of National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn.

The market was also on edge after a van crashed into dozens of people in the centre of Barcelona killing at least 13 people in an attack claimed by Islamic State.

Stocks began to lose ground early in the session, following the speculation about Cohn. Late on Thursday, the White House said Trump has abandoned plans to create an infrastructure advisory council.

Disappointing corporate results weighed as well. Shares of Dow component Cisco Systems (CSCO.O) fell 4% a day after its results, while Wal-Mart (WMT.N) was down 1.6% after the retailer reported a drop in margins due to continued price cuts and e-commerce investments.

L Brands, the parent of Victoria's Secret, tumbled 4.9% after it cut its annual profit forecast because of weakening sales. Other retailers slipped as well. Amazon fell 1.4% and Macy's lost 2.5%.

Data storage company NetApp offered a forecast for the current quarter that disappointed investors. Its stock lost 6.6%. Elsewhere, Apple retreated 1.6% while software maker Adobe Systems skidded 1.8%.

In Asia, share markets were pressured on Friday in morning session after investors on Wall Street sold off on growing uncertainty over the Trump administration's ability to follow through on its economic policies.

Japan's Nikkei 225 fell to its lowest levels in three months, but then moderated to trade only 1%. Across the Korean strait, the Kospi declined 0.34%. Meanwhile, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.80%.

Markets in greater China were in similar shape. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index tumbled 1.22%. On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was lower by 0.32% and the Shenzhen Composite shed 0.31%.

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