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Stocks finished mixed Wednesday. The Dow advanced 158 points to 26405 while the S&P 500 added 3 points to 2907. The Nasdaq Composite lost 6 points to 7950.
The Dow and S&P 500 extended gains as investors overlooked trade concerns. On the data front, housing starts jumped 9.2% to a three-month high in August. Meanwhile, building permits unexpectedly declined 5.7%, to the largest drop since February 2017. Separately, mortgage applications rose 1.6% in the most recent week despite the average borrowing rate climbing to a seven-year high. Finally, the second quarter current account deficit for the U.S. tightened to $101.5 billion.
Seven of 11 S&P 500 sectors ended the session in negative territory. The Utilities sector, which is often viewed as bond proxy, was down the most in sympathy with rising Treasury yields. Technology stocks were also notable decliners with Microsoft falling 1.4% to $111.70 and Advanced Micro Devices losing 2.2% to $31.21. Meanwhile, Financials outperformed with shares of Goldman Sachs advancing 2.9% to $235.58. The Materials sector also posted gains as Praxair rose 3.9% to $164.37 following reports the company is close in obtaining U.S. approval for its merger with German gas company Linde.
Breadth was even on the NYSE and negative on issues by 5:4 on the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE volume was more than 4.3 billion shares.
Treasuries weakened with the yield on the benchmark 10-year note gaining two basis points to 3.07%. In commodities, WTI crude was up 1.9% to $71.21/barrel. COMEX gold added 0.4% to $1203.80/ounce amid a weaker dollar.