Stocks traded lower on Wednesday after Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey wrapped the White House in another controversy, worrying investors holding out for progress on Trump's business-friendly agenda.
The S&P 500 was down 0.07%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.17%, and the Nasdaq slid 0.21%.
The White House pointed to Comey's handling of the investigation into former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's private email server as reason for the firing. However, Trump frequently praised Comey's decision to go public with details of the investigation on the campaign trail.
"The president has accepted the recommendation of the attorney general and the deputy attorney general regarding the dismissal of the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation," White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters in a briefing.
"Every American will rightly suspect that the decision to fire Director Comey was part of a cover-up" unless an independent investigation takes place, Schumer told reporters on Tuesday evening.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed the need for a special prosecutor on Wednesday. McConnell said that a new investigation would "only serve to impede the current work being done."
The Nasdaq closed at a record for the third session in a row on Tuesday as volatility held at its lowest level in more than two decades. The tech-heavy index has closed at records 30 times so far this year. Volatility held at its lowest level in more than two decades on Tuesday. The Volatility Index, often referred to as the fear index, was trading at 9.84, its lowest since late 1993.
Jim Cramer laid out the powerful themes driving this bull market over on our premium site Real Money. Get his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Crude oil prices rose on Wednesday after a weekly reading on U.S. stockpiles showed a large decline. U.S. inventories declined by 5.2 million barrels in the past week, according to the Energy Information Administration. Analysts anticipated a decline of 1.8 million barrels. Gasoline and distillates stockpiles also dropped.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil declined by 2.6% to $47.11 a barrel on Wednesday.
Import and export prices both rose in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Import prices in the U.S. increased 0.5% last month following a 0.1% rise a month earlier. Export prices rose 0.2% in April, double the increase in March.
Disney (DIS) fell 3% after beating profit estimates, but falling short of revenue forecasts. The world's largest entertainment company earned $1.50 a share, 9 cents above expectations. Sales increased 2.9% to $13.34 billion, coming in $110 million below consensus.