US stocks fall amid economic slowdown worries
US stocks closed lower, as investor sentiment continued to be dampened by persistent inverted yield curve, as long-term US Treasury bills kept falling throughout the day.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 32.14 points, or 0.13 percent, to 25,625.59 on Wednesday. The S&P 500 fell 13.09 points, or 0.46 percent, to 2,805.37. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 48.15 points, or 0.63 percent, to 7,643.38, Xinhua reported.
Among the 30 major blue chips in the Dow, a majority of the stocks extended losses, with US retail magnate Walmart and US vehicle giant Chevron dropped over 1.13 percent and 1.08 percent respectively, leading the laggards.
Ten of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors traded lower around market close with health care sector down over 0.8 percent, leading the losers.
Yet shares of Ralph Lauren rose over 2.51 percent, as US leading investment bank Wells Fargo upgraded the apparel retailer’s stock to “outperform” from “market perform” on upbeat growth prospects.
The US yield curve inversion has remained throughout Wednesday, with both long-term and short-term government notes on the decline, scaling up fears of potential economic downturn.
The benchmark 10-year note rate fell to a bit more than 2.38 around market close, hitting a new low since mid-December, 2017, according to CNBC.
Investors were largely rattled by an inverted yield curve last Friday, as the spread between the US three-month Treasury bill yield and the 10-year note rate turned negative, the first time since 2007, according to Refinitiv Tradeweb
An inverted yield curve happens when short-term rates surpass their longer-term counterparts, which is widely regarded as a harbinger of recession in the near future.
On the economic front, US trade deficit shrank to USD 51.1 billion in January, the sharpest decline since March 2018, data released Wednesday by the US Department of Commerce showed.
The overall trade deficit was narrowed, as January’s exports increased USD 1.9 billion while imports largely fell 6.8 billion dollars, according to the department.