U.S. STOCKS FALL AS ELECTION ANXIETY OVERSHADOWS FED’S DECISION

NEW YORK – Wall Street stocks finished lower on Wednesday (Nov 2) as anxiety over Republican Donald Trump’s move higher in presidential election polls pressured markets.

Energy shares dropped after a record build in US oil inventories, while Amazon and Google parent Alphabet were among the weak links in technology.

Amid the narrowing presidential race, markets shrugged off the decision by the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates unchanged, as expected, and December now is in focus for an increase.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 77.46 points (0.43 per cent) to 17,959.64.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 13.78 points (0.65 per cent) to 2,097.94, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 48.01 points (0.93 per cent) to 5,105.57.

US oil prices fell nearly three per cent after commercial oil inventories surged by 14.4 million last week. Drillers Nabors Industries and Transocean shed 4.1 per cent and 3.1 per cent, respectively, while Dow member Chevron lost 1.0 per cent.

In technology shares, Brocade Communication Systems jumped 9.6 per cent on news it will be acquired by semiconductor company Broadcom for US$5.9 billion. Broadcom rose 2.2 per cent.

Video game developer Electronic Arts advanced 1.6 per cent as second quarter net income jumped 50 per cent to US$1.3 billion on strong sales for games such as Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2.

Office Depot shot up 15.1 percent as it announced plans to streamline its global store footprint after regulators rejected a takeover bid by Staples. Office Depot will close 300 stores in the US and sell its international business in Australia and mainland China, among other countries.