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US: Stocks fall in early trading on Spain attacks

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US stocks dropped early Friday, as the battering of markets in the wake of a major attack in Spain showed no signs of slowing, and amid what one analyst called "festering dysfunction" at the White House.

[NEW YORK] US stocks dropped early Friday, as the battering of markets in the wake of a major attack in Spain showed no signs of slowing, and amid what one analyst called "festering dysfunction" at the White House.

The Dow slipped 0.2 per cent to 21,700.43 about 15 minutes after the open, and the broader S&P 500 fell nearly 0.3 per cent to 2,423.53.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq also gave up 0.2 per cent to 6,209.49.

Analysts had expected markets to stabilise on the final trading day of the week, but investors appear shaken by the twin attacks in Barcelona and the seaside resort of Cambrils, that have left at least 14 people dead and more than 100 hurt.

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And concerns remain about US President Donald Trump's agenda for tax reform and other pro-business measures, as his support from corporate America has evaporated following his heavily criticised response to a white supremacist rally last weekend.

He also is losing support among Republicans in Congress, whom Mr Trump already had confronted over their failure to pass health care reform.

Briefing.com noted the Dow on Thursday "registered its worst one-day drop since May 17, breaking a four-session winning streak. The S&P 500 had its second-worst performance this year."

Schwab analysts said that decline "came courtesy of heightened concerns about the festering dysfunction in the White House and monetary policy uncertainty, as well as elevated geopolitical concerns, exacerbated by yesterday's terror attack in Spain."

On Thursday, the White House denied rumors that Trump economic advisor Gary Cohn was planning to resign, but not before the news hit markets.

Mr Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs president, also had been considered a leading contender to replace Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

"While the waters are calmer this morning, the potential for political/headline risk remains high as we head into the weekend," Briefing.com said.

AFP

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