Markets Off Early
Stocks in the United States were down sharply in early trading. The Dow Jones industrial average, the Nasdaq and the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index each were down nearly a percent.
Among the reasons for the sudden skittishness:
• Continued turmoil in Washington. New revelations about President Trump’s sharing of sensitive information with Russian diplomats, and his reported suggestion that former F.B.I director James Comey drop his investigation into former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn are raising fears that Trump’s agenda of lower taxes and lighter regulation could be harder to enact.
• Underlying weakness in the economy. While strong tech stocks have been inflating the major indexes in recent months, some key companies for the American economy — especially retailers and car makers — are facing real struggles.