NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks tumbled early Tuesday amid mixed corporate earnings and mounting geopolitical unease over Saudi Arabia and Italy’s budget standoff with the European Union.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.7 percent to 24,880.98, near 1445 GMT, after earlier sinking more than two percent.
The broad-based S&P 500 fell 2.0 percent to 2,701.57, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 2.4 percent to 7,272.54.
The losses added to declines posted in stock markets around the world, with several leading bourses across Asia and Europe also down close to two percent or more.
Analysts cited a speech by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said Saudi Arabia had carried out the premeditated murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi that has prompted international condemnation.
Another worry is Italy’s budget standoff with the European Union, which has revived worries about the stability of the trading bloc.
In New York, Caterpillar dived nearly 10 percent despite reporting better-than-expected third-quarter earnings, while 3M, another Dow component, sank 7.5 percent after trimming its full-year earnings forecast, in part due to the impact of the strong dollar.
The deep declines reflected worries over Caterpillar and 3M’s vulnerability to global growth and the Chinese economy in light of trade conflicts and other questions.
“Those two companies are very exposed to global growth,” said Gregori Volokhine, president of Meeschaert Financial Services.
Shares of large technology companies — another group tied closely to global economic trends — also suffered sharp losses. Amazon shed 3.5 percent, Microsoft 4.4 percent and Expedia 3.8 percent.
Some companies that reported results saw their shares gain ground, including McDonald’s, which jumped 6.5 percent and United Technologies, which advanced 1.7 percent.
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