US stocks declined on Tuesday with American International Group Inc. weighing on financial shares lower after disappointing earnings and as a slide in Twitter took down other names in the technology and internet space.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 130 points or 0.78%, to 16,401, the S&P 500 lost 17 points or 0.9%, to 1,868 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 57 points or 1.38%, to 4,081.
Twitter (TWTR.N) shares tumbled 17.8% after the expiration of a six-month "lock-up" period that had restricted the sale of about 82% of its outstanding stock.
Traders also kept an eye on developments in Ukraine, where supporters of Russia and of a united Ukraine are accusing each other of tearing the country apart.
AIG (AIG.N) shares declined 4.1% a day after posting a 27% decline in quarterly income. Financials were the largest decliners among the S&P 500's top ten industry sectors.
Athenahealth (ATHN.O) shares slumped 13.9%, a day after hedge fund manager David Einhorn said the company is part of a portfolio of overvalued stocks his Greenlight Capital was betting against.
Office Depot Inc (ODP.N) raised its forecast for full-year adjusted operating income and said it would close at least 400 stores in the US over two years, sending shares up 15.8%.
Adding to a string of major deals in the healthcare industry, Bayer (BAYGn.DE) acquired Merck's (MRK.N) consumer care business for $14.2 billion. Merck shares fell 2.6%.
In Asia, shares fell on Wednesday in morning trade with Japanese shares declining as the yen maintained gains, reducing the earnings outlook for exporters.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 0.9% to 138 as of 10:20 a.m. in Tokyo as markets in Japan and South Korea resumed trading following holidays. Japan’s Topix index slid 1.9% as the yen traded at 101.62 after strengthening to a three-week high yesterday.
New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index fell 0.2% after Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler said the central bank may sell the nation’s currency if it remains high. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index retreated 0.7% and South Korea’s Kospi index declined 0.4%. Singapore’s Straits Times Index lost 0.2% and Taiwan’s Taiex index slipped 0.3%.