The major averages fluctuated Wednesday, as investors assessed mixed trade messages from the White House. The Dow lost 11 points, while the S&P 500 edged 0.1% lower to extend a four-day losing streak. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.3%.
President Trump warned that a breakdown in trade negotiations with Beijing could mean additional tariffs on Chinese goods. This came after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested “there’s a path” for the U.S. and China to secure a new trade agreement. Trade-sensitive chipmakers helped the Nasdaq Composite outperform with Micron Technology surging 13.3% after posting a top and bottom line beat and noting that demand for its chips should rebound later this year. Energy stocks were another notable gainer with WTI crude jumping 1.4% to $59.18/barrel. The rally in oil prices came after an official government report showed U.S. inventories fell 12.8 million barrel in the latest week, the steepest decline since September 2016.
Consumer Staples was a notable decliner as General Mills slid 4.1% after missing Wall Street sales estimates. In other earnings, FedEx climbed 2.7% after topping analyst profit expectations. In M&A news, Apple jumped 2.3% after announcing plans to purchase autonomous vehicle startup Drive.ai for an undisclosed price.
Treasuries weakened along the curve, with the yield on the 10-year note up six basis points to 2.05%. On the data front, an update showed durable goods orders fell 1.3% in May, below expectations of a 0.3% decline. Another report revealed May wholesale inventories ticked up 0.4%, just below expectations of 0.5% gain.