NEW YORK (AP) — Global stocks are falling Friday after Italy’s new government announced a big increase in spending. Italy’s main stock index fell about 4 percent and other European indexes also took sharp losses as investors worried that the government’s plan will lead to a clash with European Union leaders who want Italy to reduce its debt level. Banks are falling.
Tesla stock is plunging after federal regulators moved to oust Elon Musk as the electric car maker’s CEO following his tweet last month that he was close to a deal to take Tesla private.
U.S. indexes are slightly lower at the end of a rough week, but the third quarter has been the strongest for the U.S. market in several years.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index lost 3 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,910 as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was little changed at 26,441. The Nasdaq composite gave up 9 points, or 0.1 percent, to 8,032. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,692.
The S&P is up 7.1 percent in the third quarter, its best showing since a gain of just under 10 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.
ITALIAN SPENDING: The new spending plans announced by Italy’s government would push its budget deficit to 2.4 percent of gross domestic product next year, a significant jump from previous government’s target of 1.6 percent this year. While that’s still within EU limits, it is likely to set up a clash with leaders who want Italy to bring down its debt level, which is the second-highest of any EU country after Greece.
Italy’s FTSE MIB plunged 4.3 percent while the German DAX sank 1 percent. France’s CAC 40 lost 1 percent and the FTSE