Stocks - Wall Street Cautious on Trump Impeachment; Tech Stocks Fall 

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Stocks - Wall Street Cautious on Trump Impeachment; Tech Stocks Fall 
Credit: © Reuters. – Wall Street remained volatile on Wednesday, held back by fears of political instability after the House launched a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

The U.S. House of Representatives decided to start the impeachment process on Tuesday, but uncertainty remains as to how much impact there will be, with the Republican-controlled Senate having to give its approval.

The impeachment move came after Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine while urging its president to investigate corruption allegations involving the son of former Vice President Joe Biden.

"Of course, the headline news regarding impeachment investigation will be focused on, but I don't think that it's going to have a real negative effect just yet," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

The Dow gained 14 points or 0.1% by 9:51 AM ET (13:51 GMT), while the S&P 500 lost 3 points or 0.1% and the Nasdaq composite was down 24 points or 0.3%.

Tobacco stocks were higher after Philip Morris and Altria said they had stopped merger talks. Philip Morris (NYSE: PM ) gained 5.9% while Altria Group (NYSE: MO ) was flat and British American Tobacco (NYSE: BTI ) was up 1.6%.

Nike (NYSE: NKE ) jumped 2.2% after its first-quarter revenue and profit beat estimates, helped by a 22% rise in revenue from Greater China.

Elsewhere, technology stocks were down, with Facebook (NASDAQ: FB ) falling 0.6%, while (NASDAQ: AMZN ) slipped 0.5%. Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA ) fell 1% and Shopify (NYSE: SHOP ) dipped 2.6%.

In commodities, the U.S. dollar index , which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, gained 0.4% to 98.312 and gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,536.45 a troy ounce. Crude oil futures lost 2.7% to $55.76 a barrel.

-Reuters contributed to this report

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