WASHINGTON: The S&P 500 had its second biggest one-day drop of the year amid political tensions in the US and after after a van attack killed at least 13 people in Barcelona. Shares in airlines led the decline on the S&P 500, with Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United Continental all down more than 3 per cent. The S&P 500 airlines sub industry index fell more than 4 per cent.
The broader S&P 500 declined 1.4 per cent to 2,433.04, with every major index within the benchmark posting losses, including utilities and real estate, which are seen as safer investments. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also suffered its worst day in three months, weighed down by earnings at Walmart, which posted lower profit margins as it invests in digital upgrades. Shares in the company fell 1.5 per cent as the Dow ended 1.2 per cent lower at 21,750.94. The Nasdaq also closed 1.9 per cent lower at 6,221.91. Elsewhere gold and US Treasuries, seen as safe haven assets in times of uncertainty, were stronger. The price of gold was 0.4 per cent higher at 1,288, while the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to price fell 3.5 basis points to 2.192 per cent. The price of oil was also higher. The US benchmark West Texas Intermediate gained 0.6 per cent to $47.07 a barrel, while Brent crude oil gained 1.4 per cent to $50.95.