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US: Stocks drop on eve of Trump inauguration

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[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks dropped Thursday in the final session before the inauguration of US President-elect Donald Trump.

Some analysts blamed heightened uncertainty among investors about Mr Trump, including over his comments this week that the US dollar was too high.

But others said investors are simply adopting a more realistic view about the likely pace change in Washington after overblown hopes for speedy tax cuts and spending sparked a massive post-election rally.

"The market is coming to the realisation that post election we had a pretty significant run," said Art Hogan of Wunderlich Securities. "There's the realisation we may well see pro-growth and pro-business policies moving forward, but it's going to take time."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4 per cent to 19,732.40.

The broad-based S&P 500 also lost 0.4 per cent ending at 2,263.69, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.3 per cent to 5,540.08.

Tesla Motors climbed 2.3 per cent after US auto safety regulators concluded that there was no defect in the electric car maker's "Autopilot" system in use in a fatal May 2016 crash in Florida.

Western Union lost 3.3 per cent after it reached an agreement to pay US$586 million to settle a US criminal probe that it failed to set up an adequate anti-money laundering program and looked the other way when employees collaborated with fraudsters.

Netflix rose 3.9 per cent after it added seven million new subscribers in the fourth quarter and lifted profit 55 per cent to US$66.7 million in results that bested expectations.

Railroad company CSX shot up 23.4 per cent on speculation it could be acquired after rival Canadian Pacific announced that chief executive Hunter Harrison was stepping down and would pursue "opportunities involving other Class 1 Railroads."


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