Stocks finished lower Wednesday as investors digested the latest trade-related headlines and mixed first-quarter results from U.S. retailers. The Dow lost 100 points while the S&P 500 fell 0.3%. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.5%.
A report this morning indicated the White House may extend the technology ban to other Chinese surveillance firms. Also weighing on sentiment were comments from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin confirming there are no plans to travel to Beijing to meet with Chinese leaders at this time. Today’s declines contrasted an upbeat session Tuesday, with major averages notching solid gains amid news the Trump administration would grant temporary exemptions to an export blacklist against Huawei Technologies.
Market participants also assessed the release of the Fed’s latest meeting minutes. Policymakers noted that the recent patient approach to interest rates is appropriate with many members agreeing with Chair Jerome Powell’s assessment that recent weakness in inflation is “transitory.” Treasuries advanced, with the yield on the 10-year note down four basis points to 2.39%.
Energy stocks lagged with WTI crude dipping nearly 3% following an industry report showing a surprise build of U.S. stockpiles. In corporate news, Qualcomm slid 10.9% to $69.31 after a federal judge ruled that the company hindered competition in the mobile phone chip market. Target rallied 7.8% to $77.56 after topping Wall Street revenue and same-store sales predictions. Lowe’s fell 11.8% to $97.94 after missing analyst profit projections and reducing forward guidance.
Breadth was negative on issues by 2:1 on both the NYSE and the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE Volume was more than 3.1 billion shares.