The US markets closed lower on Monday, amid concerns over growing geopolitical tensions. The downturn for stocks comes as North Korea tested four ballistic missiles off its east coast early Monday, Seoul time. President Donald Trump has accused that his predecessor, Barack Obama, wiretapped him. Some investors worried that the accusation could distract Trump from his economic agenda of introducing tax cuts and simplifying regulations, which have powered a record-setting rally on Wall Street since the election. The market is still digesting Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s clearest indication to date that a March rate increase is a real possibility next week. The probability of a March rate increase now stands at 86%, up from about 30% this time last week, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool. The street now expects the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates later this month, and then twice more this year after Fed communication turned hawkish. On the economy front, the factory orders climbed up by 1.2% in January. The Commerce Department said orders have climbed for 6 of the last 7 months and rose 0.3% when transportation was excluded. Industrial machinery orders climbed up by 6.6%, while photographic equipments orders dropped by 15%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 51.37 points or 0.24 percent to 20,954.34, Nasdaq was down 21.57 points or 0.37 percent to 5,849.18, while S&P 500 dropped 7.81 points or 0.33 percent to 2,375.31.
The Indian ADRs closed mostly in green; Tata Motors was up 0.17%, Infosys was up 0.10% and Dr. Reddy’s Lab was up 0.04%. On the other hand, HDFC Bank was down 0.11% and Wipro was down by 0.03%.