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US: Stocks fall on worries about Turkey, slowing China

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[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks fell on Wednesday, with technology and energy shares among the biggest losers, on worries about Turkey and a slowing Chinese economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.5 per cent to 25,162.41.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.8 per cent to 2,818.37, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 1.2 per cent to 7,774.12.

Turkey hiked tariffs on imports of several key US products in retaliation for American sanctions against Ankara, the latest sign of uncertainty in a key emerging economy.

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Jack Ablin of Cresset Wealth Advisors said selling in stocks and buying of "safe" assets like the dollar and yen suggested a "general risk aversion" among investors.

The dollar was further boosted by strong US retail sales data, which dragged on shares of US exporters, said Shawn Cruz, manager of trader strategy, TD Ameritrade.

"It certainly bodes well for the US consumer" but a "lot of movement into the dollar is maybe what clipped US equities," Mr Cruz said.

Mr Cruz also pointed to rising uncertainty over China following recent weak macroeconomic data and disappointing China tech sector earnings that also rattled investors in US tech issues. Amazon, Facebook and Netflix all fell.

Tesla Motors dropped 2.6 following reports US securities regulators have subpoenaed the electric car maker's chief executive Elon Musk over his statements about taking the company private.

Macy's dived 16.0 per cent amid disappointment over the department store chain's forecast. The retailer projected overall annual sales ranging from flat to a 0.7 per cent increase compared with fiscal 2017.

Other department store chains including Nordstrom and Kohl's also fell sharply.

Constellation Brands dropped 6.1 per cent after announcing a US$4 billion deal to significantly boost its stake in Canopy Growth, a Canadian cannabis company. US-traded shares of Canopy Growth shot up 30.6 per cent.

Petroleum-linked shares such as Chevron, Apache and Halliburton fell steeply on a drop in oil prices.

AFP