The major indexes extended losses on Wednesday pulled lower by falling commodity prices and a slump in oil prices weighing on energy stocks. Investor worries also continue to hinge on the likelihood of a tax cut and tax reform as a steady stream of news about potential pitfalls including lobbing in a last-minute Obamacare repeal raise questions about how Republicans can pull it off.
Only two sectors, financials and healthcare, made gains on the S&P 500. Sell-offs in technology, energy and consumer staples added pressure on the market-weighted index, which dropped -0.55% at finish. Leading the decliners were Target, which fell -9.87% and Advanced Auto Parts, which dropped -4.30%.
Dow Jones industrial average fell 138 points or -0.59% to close 23,272.52. Caterpillar led laggards falling -2.50% and Apple dropped -1.32%. Among other tech stocks that made losses were IBM down -1.20%, Intel fell -0.87% and Microsoft down -0.78%. General Electric, meanwhile, recovered from a two-day streak of plunging prices and was up +2.01%.
- Dow 23,272.52 -0.59%
- S&P 500 2564.69 -0.55%
- NASDAQ 6,706.21 -0.47%
- Russell 2000 1,465.51 -0.38%
- NYSE Composite 12,334 -0.36%
- Gold 1,278.0 -0.38%
- Oil WTI $55.28 -0.75% (3:38PM EDT)
- 10-Year Treasury 2.328 +0.43%
Commodity slump, stock market hiccup
The unexpected rise in US crude oil stockpiles added pressure on sliding oil prices and energy shares. A week ago crude oil rallied and was at $57 a barrel. On Tuesday the International Energy Agency said global oil demand would be weaker this year and next and epected a short-lived crude oil price rally.
Other economic data released on Wednesday showed US consumer spending rose albeit slightly indicating a pickup in core inflation. A boon to bank stocks which saw its sector performance rally as investors assessed a possible Federal Reserve rate hike in December.
Stronger core inflation figures also strengthened the dollar. Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.1% and gold declined -0.38% to $1,278 an ounce. The yield on 10-Year US Treasury dropped 5 basis points to 2.32%. Bond prices and yields are inverse. Yields fall as bond prices rise.
However, on the global front economic data showing a wobble in China's growth jarred commodities and prompted pull backs across global indexes.