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  • Financials fall sharply in the early trading hours.
  • Political worries in Italy weigh on market sentiment.
  • Utilities’ performance keeps losses limited for now.

Major equity indexes in the U.S. started the last trading day of the third quarter modestly lower as rising political tensions between Italy and the EU hurt the financial sector. “Commenting on today’s Italy headlines, “The Italian budget forces the EU to fight on two fronts.  Externally against the UK in the Brexit negotiations and internally against the populist anger in one of the Union’s core nations.  The Italian threat is far greater,” FXStreet Senior Analyst Joseph Trevisani noted earlier today.

The S&P 500 Financials Index was last seen down 0.82% on the day while the financial-heavy Dow Jones Industrial Average was losing 0.15, or 36 points, at 26,404 points.  

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Utilities Index is adding more than 0.8% in the first trading hour of the session to help the S&P 500 limit its losses. At the moment, the SPX was down 5 points, or 0.17%, at 2,909 points.  

On the other hand, the S&P 500 Communications Services, which was the top performer of Thursday, seems to be feeling the pressure of the profit-taking action as it falls 0.45% on the day to drag the tech-related Nasdaq Composite Index down to 8,020 points, where it was losing 0.27% on the day.