Stocks held onto their worst losses since September on Wednesday as another Donald Trump scandal provoked a selloff.
The S&P 500 was down 1.5%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.5%, or 305 points, and the Nasdaq slid 2.1%. The S&P 500 fell 2.5% on Sept. 9.
Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to shut down the federal investigation into since-ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, The New York Times reported Tuesday evening. Flynn was forced to resign on Feb. 13 amid questions over his contact with the Russian ambassador to the United States and discussions of U.S. sanctions.
"I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go," Trump told Comey, recorded in a memo written by the former FBI director.
Comey wrote the memo detailing his conversation with the president shortly after it took place, according to the Times, which cited two people who read the memo. It is part of a paper trail Comey created documenting what he believed to be improper efforts to influence the investigation. Trump made the surprise move of firing Comey, head of an investigation into Trump and his campaign's alleged ties with Russia, early last week.
The Times report may present the clearest evidence yet that the president has tried to influence government investigations into links between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Financial stocks were the worst performers on Wednesday. JPMorgan (JPM) , Wells Fargo (WFC) , Bank of America (BAC) , HSBC (HSBC) , Citigroup (C) , and Goldman Sachs (GS) were sharply lower, while the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) slid 2.8%.