Chinese trade tariffs weigh on stock markets.
U.S. stocks finished mixed on Wednesday, as the bulls were held in check by renewed fear of an all-out trade war between China and the United States.
The large-cap S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY) gave up gains in the final hour of trade, settling flat at 2,857.70..
The Nasdaq Composite Index (NYSEARCA:QQQ) gained 0.1% to close at 7,888.32.
Dow industrials (NYSEARCA:DIA) closed down 45.16 points, or 0.2%, at 25,583.75.
A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX (NYSEARCA:VXX) closed down 0.7% at 10.85, on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic average.
Wall Street came under pressure Wednesday after China revealed a new list of tariffs on U.S. goods. Beijing said it will add a 25% charge on $16 billion worth of U.S. goods.
In commodities, U.S. oil prices sunk to seven-week lows Wednesday after government data revealed a smaller than expected drop in weekly crude inventories. Commercial crude inventories fell by 1.351 million barrels for the week ended Aug. 3, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said. Analysts polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a deeper decline of 2.3 million barrels.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for September delivery fell $2.47, or 3.6%, to $66.70 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. ICE Brent, the international futures benchmark, declined $2.63, or 3.5%, to $72.02 a barrel.
The Final Word: U.S. equity markets remain on solid footing, with the S&P 500 Index inching closer to record highs. The risk-on trade looks like it has further room to grow ahead of the more active fall season.