U.S. equities finished solidly lower, as heightened U.S.-China trade worries, continued weakness in global bond yields, and escalated unrest in Hong Kong weighed on conviction. Treasury yields were lower and the U.S. dollar lost modest ground amid an empty economic calendar, while crude oil prices inched higher and gold resumed its rally. News on the equity front was light, as Sysco Corporation topped earnings forecasts, and Amgen prevailed in a U.S. court on two of its patents surrounding its popular arthritis treatment.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) declined 391 points (1.5%) to 25,896, the S&P 500 Index decreased 36 points (1.2%) to 2,882 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 96 points (1.2%) to 7,863. In light volume, 567 million shares were traded on the NYSE and 2.0 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. WTI crude oil moved $0.43 higher to $54.93 per barrel and wholesale gasoline was unchanged at $1.67 per gallon. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price rose $15.82 to $1,512.77 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—shed 0.1% to 97.44.
Treasuries continued to rally, as the yield on the 2-year note declined 5 basis points (bps) to 1.58%, the yield on the 10-year note fell 9 bps to 1.65%, and the 30-year bond rate dropped 11 bps to 2.14%. The global markets remain volatile on escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China, exacerbated by the drop in the Chinese currency below a key psychological level, as well as the Fed rate cut and elevated expectations that further reductions were likely this year.
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