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U.S. Stocks Tumble in Monday Trading Once Again

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U.S. stocks are continuing to sink Monday as banks and healthcare and energy companies slip. The Dow Jones industrial average sank more than 500 points for the second trading day in a row, erasing almost all the gains it made this year. Stocks are on track for their biggest one-day drop since June 2016.

Wells Fargo is plunging after the Federal Reserve hit the bank with new sanctions Friday over a scandal that involved opening millions of phony consumer accounts. The market erased a portion of its early morning losses after a report showing more evidence of economic strength in the U.S economy, but then stocks fell again.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 49 points, or 1.8%, to 2,713 around 2:30 p.m. EST. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 520 points, or 2%, to 25,001. The Nasdaq composite fell 92 points, or 1.3%, to 7,149. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks was down 19 points, or 1.2%, to 1,528.

The S&P 500 is down about 5.5% from its latest record high, set Jan. 26.

Investors are worried about evidence of rising inflation in the United States. Increased inflation might push the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates more quickly, something that could slow down economic growth by making it more expensive for people and businesses to borrow money. Rising bond yields are also making bonds more appealing than stocks to investors.

WELLS FARGO PLUNGES: Wells Fargo dropped 8.7% to $58.47 as of about 1:30 EST. Late Friday, the Fed said it will freeze Wells Fargo’s assets at the level where they stood at the end of last year until the San Francisco bank can demonstrate improved internal controls. The bank also agreed to remove four directors from its board.

The S&P energy index .SPNY led the decliners among the 11 major S&P sectors, with a 2.03 percent fall. Exxon’s (XOM.N) 4.1 percent fall weighed the most on the Dow and was the second biggest drag on the S&P.

Oil prices neared their lowest in a month as rising U.S. output and a weaker physical market added to the pressure from a widespread decline across equities and commodities. [O/R]

A prominent Harvard economist is warning that the U.S. stock market, which on Monday extended Friday’s big drop — is set for a drop of as much as a third of its current value, an outlook that would entail the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbling to approximately 16,000 from its current lofty level.

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FL Shooting Survivor Colton Haab: CNN Told Me I Needed To “Stick To The Script”; Entire Town Hall Scripted

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Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor Colton Haab appeared on FOX News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight to talk about his saga with CNN and how they “scripted” a question for him to use at Wednesday night’s town hall event hosted by the network and moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Haab, a JROTC member who helped shepherd students to safety, was approached by the network to ask a question at the town hall. Haab showed CNN what he wanted to say but said Carrie Stevenson, an executive producer at CNN, ultimately rejected it and instead after several conversations “scripted” a question for him.

“CNN had originally asked me to write a speech and questions and it ended up being all scripted,” Haab said to a local news outlet Wednesday night.

Haab said he believed all the questions asked at the town hall were scripted. Haab explained in detail what happened between him and the cable news network and what he thought of the town hall.

COLTON HAAB: So what had happened was four days ago I had gotten contacted by a lady named [State of the Union executive producer] Carrie Stevenson from CNN. She had asked me originally to just write a speech. It was going to be at the town hall at the BB&T Center [in Sunrise, Florida]. So I agreed. I felt like it would be the right thing to do. Be able to go speak my part as well as open eyes to a few things that I thought that can make this situation a little better. From there, three days ago, so the next day after that I had gotten an email back from her and she asked for more of questions rather than a speech. Which I was totally fine with so I wrote a little less of a speech and more of questions that I wanted to ask at the town hall. The day after that it was more of just questions. She asked for just questions that I would like to ask.

So, I gave her my questions and then yesterday, at about 5:15, I made contact with her. And she had asked if I had just asked her one question. So what they had actually done was wrote out a question for me because in my interview with CNN, I had talked about arming the teachers, if they were willing to arm themselves in the school to carry on campus. And they had — she had taken that of what I had briefed on and actually wrote that question out for me. So I have that question here if you would like me to ask it for you.

“I just want to make sure I have this straight. So you sent them a long, in effect essay on what you thought but they put their own words in the question and they weren’t the same as the words you had sent in? They were the producer’s words?” Carlson asked.

“Absolutely,” Haab answered. “They had taken what I had wrote and what I had briefed on and talked about and they actually wrote the question for me.”

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