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U.S. equities pared steep early session losses, but remained near 12-week lows Wednesday amid lingering trade tensions. The Dow slid more than 400 points before ultimately finishing the session down 221 points. The S&P 500 fell 0.7%, dipping below its 100-day moving average, while the Nasdaq Composite declined 0.8%.
The major averages continued to experience weakness after President Trump commented Monday that the U.S. was “not ready” to finalize a trade pact with China. Meanwhile, Beijing warned they could restrict exports of rare-earth metals used in many technology products. The trade rhetoric has inspired a perceived “risk off” tone with Treasuries extending their recent rally. The yield on the 10-year note fell below 2.21% before rebounding to 2.26%. The benchmark yield, however, remains at the lowest level since September 2017. Meanwhile, the yield curve between the 10-year note and three-month T-bill remains inverted, with the gap deepening to the most negative since 2007 earlier in the session.
All 11 S&P 500 sectors finished lower with Utilities falling the most. In earnings, Workday slipped 4.5% to $203.23 after topping subscription revenue and profit expectations, but offering mixed forward guidance. Dicks Sporting Goods fell 5.9% to $33.67 despite beating analyst revenue and profit estimates.
Breadth was negative on issues by 5:2 on the NYSE and 2:1 on the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE Volume was more than 3.6 billion shares.
In commodities, WTI crude lost 0.4% as global growth worries and a sharp uptick in U.S. crude stockpiles pressured prices. COMEX gold gained 0.2% despite a stronger dollar.