Stocks finished lower Wednesday. The Dow fell 32 points to 25,625 while the S&P 500 lost 13 points to 2,805. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 48 points to 7,643.
U.S. equities declined as investors weighed renewed concerns of a global economic slowdown. Comments from ECB President Mario Draghi that the Eurozone may need a more accommodative policy inspired a rally in Treasuries, sending yields lower. The yield on the benchmark 10-year note fell to the lowest level since December 2017, down four basis points to 2.38% and remained below the three-month Treasury bill yield of 2.42%. On the data front, a release revealed the U.S. trade deficit narrowed from a 10-year high of $59.9 billion in December to $51.1 billion in January. A separate update showed mortgage applications jumped 8.9% in the most recent week as interest rates on loans fell to one-year lows.
Ten of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished in negative territory. The Healthcare group lagged with Centene off 5.0% to $52.12 after announcing the acquisition of WellCare Health Plans in a $17.3 billion deal. Technology stocks also underperformed with Microsoft losing 1.0% to $116.77. In earnings news, Lennar Corp added 3.9% to $51.67 after the homebuilder missed consensus earnings estimates but offered a positive outlook for the current quarter.
Breadth was negative on issues by 4:3 on the NYSE and by 7:5 on the NASDAQ. Composite NYSE Volume was more than 3.3 billion shares.
In commodities, NYMEX WTI crude slipped 0.9% to $59.41/barrel. COMEX gold fell 0.5% to $1,308.40/ounce amid a stronger dollar.