REFILE-US STOCKS-Wall Street drops on news of downed Malaysian plane
(Refiles to correct typo in name of NYSE Arca Airline Index in paragraph five)
* Initial claims fall, housing starts short of estimates
* Microsoft to cut up to 18,000 jobs, 14 percent of workforce
* Indexes off: Dow 0.3 pct, S&P 0.48 pct, Nasdaq 0.66 pct
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, July 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks dropped on Thursday to hit session lows on news that a Malaysian passenger jetliner had been downed in Ukraine, fresh on the heels of new U.S. and European Union sanctions on Russia.
A Malaysian airplane failed to enter Russian airspace when expected on Thursday and was found burning on the ground in eastern Ukraine, an aviation source told Reuters.
"Clearly there is a lot of speculation, there are even videos surfacing on YouTube and the market is quite sensitive to things it can only verify by Twitter," said Joseph Greco, managing director at Meridian Equity Partners in New York.
"President Obama had some words about sanctions and as you know, that is going to be a bit of an issue." Continuación...