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U.S. stocks sink on falling business confidence

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NEW YORK — US stocks closed sharply lower Tuesday as investors digested a positive start to earnings season, a eurozone deal to help support Spain and its banks, and disappointing Chinese trade data.

A slump in confidence registered by a US small-business survey and warnings on the corporate front “became the ‘anxiety du jour,'” Charles Schwab & Co. analysts said.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 83.17 points (0.65 percent), closing at 12,653.12.

The S&P 500 fell 10.99 points (0.81 percent) to 1,341.47, while the tech-rich Nasdaq skidded 29.44 (1.00 percent) to 2,902.33.

The National Federation of Independent Business said its small-business optimism index fell in June to its lowest reading since last October.

“Political uncertainty remains historically high and continues to be a primary cause for a reticence among small-business owners to expand,” the NFIB said.

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“After slow but steady improvement over the first half of this year, small business optimism soured considerably in June,” said Leslie Levesque at IHS Global Insight.

Alcoa dived 4.1 percent, the steepest decliner on the 30-stock Dow. The aluminum giant unofficially kicked off earnings season after the markets closed Monday, reporting results in line with expectations.

Dow member Caterpillar shed 3.5 percent, while Intel fell 2.3 percent. The chipmaker announced it would pump about $4.1 billion into Dutch company ASML Holding. US-traded ASML shares jumped 8.5 percent.

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Kraft Foods was the biggest blue-chip gainer, up almost 1.0 percent.

On the Nasdaq, Advanced Micro Devices plunged 11.2 percent after the microprocessor maker lowered its second-quarter revenue forecast.

The US indices fell more modestly Monday as the slow economy and worries about European stability and Chinese growth dragged down sentiment.

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The bond market firmed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 1.50 percent from 1.51 percent Monday, while the 30-year fell to 2.59 percent from 2.62 percent.

Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.


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‘This was the smoking gun!’ MSNBC’s Morning Joe explains why Mulvaney ‘confession’ could end Trump presidency

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney had offered "smoking gun" evidence in a stunning confession to the crime at the heart of the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

The "Morning Joe" host said Mulvaney had made a stunning "confession," but he said the president had on the same day endorsed the ethnic cleansing of the Kurdish allies he had betrayed to Turkey.

"There's so much to talk about, we joke for a few minutes at the top of the show, Mika likes do that, me, I like to get straight into the news," said Scarborough, who frequently annoys his wife and co-host by bantering about sports at the start of the show. "But there's so much going on that if somebody just woke up this morning they might not think that yesterday was not one of the most significant news days in, during the Trump presidency, and I may even argue one of the most significant news days over perhaps the last decade, just in terms of volume."

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Vote-splitting fears raised in final days of Canada election

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In the dying days of what Justin Trudeau described as one of the "nastiest" election campaigns in Canadian history -- with plenty of mudslinging, attack ads and misinformation -- he played up fears on Thursday of vote-splitting handing victory to his rival Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives.

Policy announcements gave way to calls to vote strategically to keep Trudeau's Liberals in power and prevent a rollback of his progressive policies by the Tories.

Pollsters predict a minority government -- either Liberal or Conservative -- resulting from the October 21 ballot.

Attack ads accused Liberals of seeking to legalize hard drugs and the Tories of allowing assault rifles on Canadian streets -- claims that are flat out wrong or exaggerated, respectively.

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Japan emperor to proclaim enthronement in ritual-bound ceremony

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Japan's new Emperor Naruhito will formally proclaim his ascension to the throne next week in a ritual-bound ceremony, but the after-effects of deadly typhoon will cast a shadow over proceedings.

Naruhito officially assumed his duties as emperor on May 1, a day after his father became the first Japanese monarch to abdicate in 200 years.

But the transition will not be complete until his new role is officially proclaimed on Tuesday, in a series of events expected to be attended by foreign dignitaries from nearly 200 countries.

The event will come just over a week after Typhoon Hagibis slammed into Japan, killing nearly 80 people and leaving a trail of destruction.

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