US STOCKS-Wall Street slides on Tillerson exit, tariff worries


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    * GE slides 4.4 pct after bearish J.P. Morgan note  
    * Big techs down more than 1 pct 
    * CPI data in line with estimates
    * Indexes down: Dow 0.7 pct, S&P 0.6 pct, Nasdaq 1 pct 

 (Updates to close)
    By April Joyner
    NEW YORK, March 13 (Reuters) - Wall Street's major indexes
fell on Tuesday as the dismissal of U.S. Secretary of State Rex
Tillerson and the possibility of additional U.S. import tariffs
against China dragged down stocks across sectors.
    President Donald Trump fired Tillerson after a series of
public rifts over issues including North Korea and Russia.    
Trump has appointed CIA Director Mike Pompeo, seen as loyal to
the president, to replace Tillerson. To lead the CIA, the
president has tapped Gina Haspel, the agency's deputy director.*:nL1N1QV0JE
    "Any time there's change, investors get nervous," said John
Carey, portfolio manager at Amundi Pioneer Asset Management in
Boston. "They have to go back to the drawing board to figure out
what the implications might be."
    Still, Carey said, at least the nominees to lead the State
Department and the CIA are familiar names.
    "I don't think either change will be troubling to the market
as people reflect on the qualifications of the people stepping
into the roles," he said.
    U.S. stocks added to losses after Politico reported that a
package of tariffs targeting $30 billion a year in Chinese
imports could be rolled out as soon as next week.*:nL1N1QV1MF
    "This may be upsetting the apple cart," said Bryan Novak,
senior managing director at Astor Investment Management in
Chicago. "When you look at tariffs, you don't just look in a
vacuum. You look at what follows on top of (them). It's worth
watching a bit more, to see the follow-through on our side and
their side, but there could be some anxiety around it."
    The markets had opened higher after data showed U.S.
consumer price growth slowed in February, an indication that an
anticipated pickup in inflation probably will be only gradual.*:nL1N1QU184
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI  fell 171.58 points,
or 0.68 percent, to 25,007.03, the S&P 500  .SPX  lost 17.71
points, or 0.64 percent, to 2,765.31 and the Nasdaq Composite
 .IXIC  dropped 77.31 points, or 1.02 percent, to 7,511.01.
    Tech  .SPLRCT  and financial  .SPSY  stocks were the biggest
laggards among the S&P 500's 11 major sectors. 
    Shares of Microsoft Corp  MSFT.O , Facebook Inc  FB.O  and
Alphabet Inc  GOOGL.O  fell between 1.5 percent and 2.4 percent.
    "Technology rallied hard yesterday and last week, and there
is profit-taking, but it's just a short-term pressure," said Ken
Polcari, director of the NYSE floor division at O'Neil
Securities in New York.
    Financial stocks were weighed as U.S. Treasury yields fell
in response to the CPI data and Tillerson's exit.  US/      
    Among individual stocks, General Electric Co  GE.N  fell 4.4
percent after J.P. Morgan cut its price target on the stock to
$11 from $14, saying the industrial conglomerate was not a
"safety stock" in a volatile market.
    Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a
1.27-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.55-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
    The S&P 500 posted 43 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the
Nasdaq Composite recorded 180 new highs and 24 new lows.
    Volume on U.S. exchanges was 6.89 billion shares, compared
to the 7.13 billion average for the full session over the last
20 trading days.    

 (Additional reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing
by Arun Koyyur, James Dalgleish and Susan Thomas)
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