U.S. stocks traded lower on Wednesday on the back of news that Gary Cohn, the chief economic advisor to President Donald Trump, resigned from his post.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 189 points after opening more than 300 points lower. The S&P 500 declined 0.5 percent, with consumer staples as the worst-performing sector. The Nasdaq composite pulled back 0.4 percent.
Cohn, the free trade advocate and former president at Goldman Sachs, chose to step down from his position after Trump announced that he would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Cohn's departure date is expected to come in the following weeks.
Investors were on edge following the announcement as Cohn is seen as someone who supports more business-friendly policies, and therefore is seen as well-liked by Wall Street. Cohn was also seen as a voice of reason in a White House that is seemingly in constant turmoil and he opposed the implementation of tariffs. His departure raised concerns that a trade war could take place in the near future.
"His departure has caught investors off guard," said Alec Young, managing director of global market research at FTSE Russell. "Cohn was against tariffs, so investors are assuming his departure reflects the presidents desire to forge ahead with his tariff agenda despite opposition from Republican Congressional leadership."Read More...