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US: Political jitters push stocks lower at open

[NEW YORK] Wall street stocks opened lower on Monday, pulling back from last week's record gains over political turmoil in Washington and Covid-19 concerns.

Around 1500 GMT, the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Index was down 0.4 per cent at 30,973.78.

The broad-based S&P 500 lost 0.5 per cent at 3,804.37, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.0 per cent at 13,074.65.

Patrick O'Hare of Briefing.com said traders are monitoring the intensifying debate among Democrats over how to hold President Donald Trump to account for inciting a mob to attack the US Capitol last week.

They fear that a lengthy impeachment process could distract from President-elect Joe Biden's economic aid plans.

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A pullback was nonetheless likely following a week in which indices repeatedly hit records despite the chaos in Washington, rising Covid-19 cases and the slow rollout of vaccines against it, O'Hare said.

"The most viable excuse, though, is the recognition that the market has gotten extremely complacent and moved too far, too fast - certainly for the week that just unfolded outside Wall Street - making it ripe for a pullback," he said.

Companies across industries were hit by the drop, including high-flyer Tesla, which was down 4.7 per cent after its founder Elon Musk became the world's richest man last week thanks to its surging share price.

Boeing was down 3.0 per cent even though its 737 MAX is finally being cleared to return to skies following its worldwide grounding in March 2019.

AFP

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