New York Report: Global crisis fears rock Dow

Rising geopolitical risks sparked by a downed Malaysia Airlines jet over Ukraine and an Israeli ground offensive in the Gaza strip yesterday dragged down American markets.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 161.39 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 16,976.81, after closing at a record 17,138.20 on Wednesday. The S&P 500 dropped 23.45, or 1.2 per cent to 1,958.12 while the Nasdaq composite index fell 62.52, or 1.4 per cent to 4,363.45.

Airlines suffered the most with American Airlines down four per cent to $41.70, Delta Air Lines dropped 3.43 per cent to $36.57,and United Continental shed 3.5 per cent to $43.35.

In corporate news, Microsoft got a boost as shares of the tech giant jumped one per cent to $44.53 after the company said it was cutting up to 18,000 jobs over the next year.