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US benchmarks close in red on political jitters; tech stocks weigh

A look at the markets in the US and Canada throughout the day
US markets closed lower in New York
  • US benchmarks close lower

  • Rex Tillerson ousted

  • TSX adds 42 pts 


US stocks close in the red after an eventful day- with Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State, being ousted.

"Wall Street hasn’t been able to hold its gains, with all 3 major indices in negative territory, as concerns over the revolving door at the White House are unnerving investors," said Fiona Cincotta, Senior market analyst, at City Index.

"Whilst Trump has openly said he encourages conflict and chaos, so many changes to a team begs the question whether anything can really get done.?"

The Dow finished over 171 points down at 25,007.

The S&P 500 closed down over 17 at 2,765.

The Nasdaq lost 77 at 7,511.

In Toronto, the TSX added over 42 points at 15,647.


US stocks were mixed at mid-session.

The Dow Jones added  over 28 at 25,207, but the S&P 500 is down over two points at 2,780. The Nasdaq shed over 25 points at 7,562.

In Toronto, the TSX added over 79 points at 15,684.

Gold producers advanced and traders were cheered by comments from Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz indicating that the central bank would remain cautious in policy decisions.

The Canadian dollar slid 0.45 cents to  US cents 77.41.

Among the movers in New York, Proteostasis Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:PTI) shares surged over 53% to US$6.34 after the biopharmaceutical company that focuses on treating diseases caused by an imbalance in the proteostasis network updated the market.

The company said the FDA granted a Breakthrough Therapy Designation for its PTI-428, a cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) amplifier.

Commercial Vehicle Group Inc (NASDAQ:CVGI)  sank over 22% to US$8.60 after the company posted downbeat results for its fourth quarter.

READ THE LONDON CLOSE - FTSE 100 closes firmly lower as traders get jumpy about US politics


Wall Street benchmarks got off to a positive start as traders digested inflation data and news of the sacking of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The consumer-price index rose a relatively benign 0.2% last month after a niggling 0.5% increase in the first month of the year, officila data showed.

The Dow Jones is up over 138 points at 25,317, while the S&P 500  is up over 12 at 2,795.

The tech heavy Nasdaq is ahead around 31 points to stand at 7,619.

US crude (West Texas Intermediate) is up 0.85% to US$61.88  a barrel.

In Toronto, the TSX added over 71 points at 15,676.

In London, FTSE 100  is down over 29 points at 7,184.


Trump said he’s now nominating CIA director Mike Pompeo to run the State Department after Tillkerson was ousted after a series of disagreements.


Among the notable movers was General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), which shed 3.71% to US$14.54 a share.

It came after heavyweight broker JP Morgan axed its price target on the stock from $14 to $11 - the lowest forecast on Wall Street.

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