Stocks finish mixed-to-lower amid reports that China wants a rollback in tariffs before signing a trade deal.
The U.S. stock market traded mixed-to-lower on Wednesday amid reports that China was demanding a rollback in tariffs before signing a ‘phase one’ trade agreement with Washington.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) pared losses to settle at 27,492.43, where it was little changed.
A late rally pushed the S&P 500 Index (SPY) into the green on Wednesday. The index settled up 0.1% at 3,076.76. Healthcare, financials and consumer staples were the biggest gainers. Losses were mainly concentrated in the energy sector, which plunged more than 2%.
Meanwhile, the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index settled down 0.3% at 8,410.63.
A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX (VXX) edged slightly lower on Wednesday, a reflection of underlying calm on Wall Street. The so-called “fear index” settled down 1.8% at 12.87 on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic average.
In commodities, oil prices declined on Wednesday after U.S. government data showed a much bigger than expected build up in commercial crude inventories last week.
U.S. commercial crude inventories jumped 7.929 million barrels in the week ended Nov. 1, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported. Analysts had called for a weekly increase of 1.78 million.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures fell 73 cents, or 1.3%, to $56.50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international futures benchmark, fell $1.10, or 1.8%, to $61.86 a barrel.
The Final Word: The United States and China appear further apart on an interim trade deal than initially believed. According to Reuters, China is demanding that the Trump administration roll back tariffs before signing the ‘phase one’ trade deal that was agreed to in principle last month.