North American stocks sink

North American stock markets sank into the red in early trading following the departure of a top economic adviser in the White House.

The move lower follows weakness in global markets overnight after the departure of Gary Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council.

Cohn had been the leading internal opponent to President Donald Trump's planned tariffs on imports of steel. Investors fear his departure could mean more protectionist policies from the White House.

The S&P/TSX composite index was down 31.38 points at 15,513.81, shortly after trading began.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 218.62 points at 24,665.50.

The S&P 500 index was down 17.81 points at 2,710.31 and the Nasdaq composite index was down 41.17 points at 7,330.84.

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