US stocks drop, Volkswagen weighs on automakers

New York - US stocks tumbled in opening trade on Tuesday, following European markets sharply lower as the Volkswagen emissions scandal hit shares of major automakers.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 16 291.64, down 218.55 points.

The broad-based S&P 500 fell 25.71 points to 1 941.26, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 68.06 points to 4 760.90

Leading European bourses, including Paris and Frankfurt, were down more than 3% as sentiment was dented by the snowballing scandal over Volkswagen's clean-air cheating device in its diesel cars.

General Motors fell 3.2% and Ford 2.9%.

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