Stocks finished mixed Thursday. The Dow fell 79 points to 24947 while the S&P 500 declined 4 points to 2695. The Nasdaq Composite added 29 points to 7188.
The major averages recovered from steep losses as investors assessed a late update from the Federal Reserve. U.S equities pared losses after a report that the central bank was considering a more cautious approach to future rate hikes. Trade tensions also garnered attention as Canadian authorities arrested the CFO of Huawei Technologies at the request of United States. The move angered Chinese officials and raised doubts that the two nations will secure a new trade pact.
Energy shares underperformed as uncertainty over OPEC’s proposed supply cuts caused WTI crude to decline 2.3% to $51.70. Financials finished broadly lower, as a flattening yield curve caused the group to fall nearly 1.4%. Technology stocks outperformed as IBM added 1.9% to $123.91 and Facebook advanced 1.2% to $139.63.
On the data front, the U.S. trade deficit widened more-than-expected to $55.5 billion. Separate updates on employment showed private payrolls increased less than expected last month while initial jobless claims eased slightly from a six month high. An update on the services sector from the ISM showed activity accelerated to near a record high in in November.
Breadth was negative on issues by 4:3 on the NYSE and 3:2 on the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE volume was more than 4.9 billion shares.
Treasuries finished stronger as the yield on the benchmark 10-year note fell two basis points to 2.88%. Gold added 0.1% to $1238.10/ounce.