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US STOCKS-Wall St lower on growing concerns over Trump agenda
August 18, 2017 / 3:16 PM / a month ago

US STOCKS-Wall St lower on growing concerns over Trump agenda

* Sporting goods retailers fall after weak results

* Nike’s fall weighs the most on S&P, Dow

* All three indexes on track for worst month since October

* Indexes down: Dow 0.27 pct, S&P 0.17 pct, Nasdaq flat (Adds details, changes comment, updates prices)

By Sruthi Shankar and Tanya Agrawal

Aug 18 (Reuters) - Wall Street was lower for the second straight day on Friday on mounting worries about President Donald Trump’s ability to legislate his pro-growth agenda, after his comments on the recent violence in Virginia drew widespread criticism.

The S&P 500 posted its biggest one-day percentage loss in about three months on Thursday, with all three major indexes on track to post their worst monthly performance since October.

Trump has alienated Republicans, corporate leaders and U.S. allies, while rattling markets with his comments since Saturday’s violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, which came in the aftermath of a white nationalist protest against the removal of a Confederate statue.

Several business leaders have since resigned from his advisory councils and a White House official said plans for an infrastructure council had been dropped.

Adding to the woes were a speculation of a possible departure of National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, which was denied by the White House on Thursday.

Trump’s campaign promises of tax cuts and higher infrastructure spending had helped the market rally, with the S&P climbing about 14 percent since the Nov. 8 presidential election.

“This is a capitulation of those that still held out hope we’d get tax reform or spending bills from an administration that offered the prospect of change,” said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank in Cleveland, Ohio.

“It appears they’ve gotten so bogged down in the politics of confederate monuments, everybody thinks they’re incapable of delivering meaningful change.”

At 11:00 a.m. ET (1500 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 59.24 points, or 0.27 percent, at 21,691.49 and the S&P 500 was down 4.24 points, or 0.17 percent, at 2,425.77.

The Nasdaq Composite was down 0.17 points, or 0 percent, at 6,221.75.

Also weighing on investor sentiment was news of several people being stabbed in an attack in the Finnish city of Turku on Friday. The attack follows the one in Barcelona on Thursday where suspected Islamist militant drove a van into crowds, killing 13 people and wounding scores of others.

The market had been on edge since last week after tensions between the United States and North Korea flared up, with nuclear-armed Pyongyang threatening to fire missiles near the U.S. Pacific island territory of Guam.

“Given all of the bad news in the last week - the combination of North Korea, this whole civil unrest, the terrorist incidents in Barcelona - the fact that the market is really hanging in there is showing some pretty good resiliency,” said Eric Kuby, chief investment officer at North Star Investment Management Corp in Chicago.

Nine of the 11 major S&P indexes were lower, with the telecommunications and consumer discretionary sectors leading the decliners.

Nike’s 4.32 percent slide weighed the most on the S&P and the Dow, following dismal results from sporting goods retailers Foot Locker and Hibbett.

Deere’s 6.25 percent fall was the biggest drag on the industrial sector after the farm equipment maker reported a second straight quarter of lower-than-expected sales.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,631 to 1,048. On the Nasdaq, 1,601 issues fell and 1,059 advanced. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)

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