NEW YORK: Wall Street fell sharply on Thursday (Nov 9) amid reports Senate Republicans could delay until 2019 the deep corporate tax cuts long promised by the Trump administration and long awaited by investors.
Tech stocks were among the biggest losers, after rising sharply for much of the year.
The dive in the major stock indices followed a string of record closes since last week, as prices were driven ever higher in recent months by robust earnings, good economic news and the promise of business-friendly tax cuts and slashed regulation.
At the close, the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen 101.42 points (0.43 per cent) to 23,461.94. The broader S&P 500 fell 9.76 points (0.38 per cent) to 2,584.62, while the tech-dominated Nasdaq dropped 39.06 points (0.58 per cent) to 6,750.05.
Despite the declines, all three indices had recovered substantially after nosediving between one per cent and 1.4 per cent in late-morning trading.
Wall Street has rallied with only minor interruption since President Donald Trump took the White House a year ago, promising to enact a pro-growth agenda, helping drive the Dow and Nasdaq up about 30 per cent.
Investors also followed their counterparts in Asia and Europe in taking advantage of high prices to reap some gains in the session.
"A combination of profit taking and perhaps the prospect that maybe some key parts of the bill may be delayed is what is causing this," Peter Cardillo of First Standard Financial told AFP.
Major tech stocks saw heavy losses: Google-parent Alphabet fell a full percentage point, Microsoft gave up 0.6 per cent and Apple lost 0.4 per cent.
Oil prices recovered from some mid-week losses amid continuing political upheaval in the Middle East. West Texas Intermediate benchmark crude for December delivery rose 36 cents in New York to settle at US$57.17 per barrel.
Petroleum-linked stocks were buoyant, following oil prices higher, with Exxon Mobil adding 0.6 per cent and Chevron gaining 0.5 per cent.