Washington turmoil unnerves markets

National/World
Peter Mazza_259861

Specialist Peter Mazza, left, works with traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, May 17, 2017. Stocks are opening lower on Wall Street as banks and industrial companies fall. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Stocks fell sharply Wednesday as investors worried that the latest turmoil in Washington could hinder President Donald Trump’s pro-business agenda.

The steep drop was the market’s worst since September and ended an unusually long period of calm.

Banks, which soared in the months since the election, slumped. Bank of America lost 5.9 percent.

Bonds, utilities and gold rose as traders shunned riskier assets. The dollar fell.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 dropped 43 points, or 1.8 percent, to 2,357.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 372 points, or 1.8 percent, to 20,606. The Nasdaq fell 158 points, or 2.6 percent, to 6,011, a day after its latest record high.

Small-company stocks, which would stand to benefit greatly from Trumps’ proposed tax cuts, fell more than the rest of the market.

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