US stocks ended in a mixed mode on Wednesday, 07 March 208. An afternoon rally left the U.S. equity market little changed on Wednesday as investors contemplated the resignation of White House Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn. The S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower Wednesday as the resignation of top White House economic adviser Gary Cohn stoked fears of a trade war but the tech-laden Nasdaq bucked the trend to extend its winning streak to a fourth session.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 82.76 points, or 0.3%, to 24,801.36. Earlier, the blue-chip gauge was off more than 300 points. The S&P 500 shed 1.32 points to 2,726.80. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 24.64 points, or 0.3%, to 7,396.65.
Concerns about the prospect of a global trade war, prompted by Trump's plan to introduce tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, intensified as Cohn had opposed the tariff proposal and was widely viewed as having a moderating influence within the White House. Still, some of the selling pressure eased following the release of the Federal Reserve's beige book, which emphasized modest economic growth and moderate inflation, helping the indexes to bounce off intraday lows.
The ICE U.S. Dollar Index was up less than 0.1% on Wednesday. Commodities priced in dollars often trade inversely with the buck, as moves in the U.S. unit can influence the attractiveness of those commodities to holders of other currencies.
Among U.S. economic data on Wednesday, the ADP employment report revealed that employers added a more-than-expected 235,000 jobs in February. Separate data showed that the trade deficit climbed 5% in January and hit a nearly 10-year high and U.S. productivity in the fourth quarter was revised to show no gain instead of a 0.1% decline. Updated numbers show that the fourth-quarter productivity was flat and unit labor costs were raised to 2.5% from 2%.
Overseas, Asian equities sold off on Wednesday, but European shares advanced, with Germany's DAX setting the pace. All eyes will be on the ECB's Governing Council meeting on Thursday, especially ECB President Mario Draghi's post-decision press conference. Any sense that the central bank might dial back its ultra-accommodative policy measures could lead to a knee-jerk reaction in the financial markets.
Bullion prices ended lower at Comex on Wednesday, 07 March 2018. Gold finished firmly lower on Wednesday, giving back roughly half of what it gained a day earlier, pressured by upbeat February data on U.S. private sector jobs as the dollar tried to rebound from a decline in the previous session.
April gold was at $1,325.50 an ounce in electronic trading. It had fallen $7.60, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,327.60 an ounce on Wednesday. The contract has been volatile in recent days considering that gold prices had closed at their lowest levels of the year just last Thursday. May silver fell 29 cents, or 1.7%, to $16.494 an ounce.
Oil prices dropped by more than 2% on Wednesday, 07 March 2018 as concerns surrounding a possible trade war intensified and data revealed a fresh weekly record for domestic crude production. The Energy Information Administration on Wednesday reported a second straight weekly climb in U.S. crude inventories, but the size of the climb nearly matched market expectations, defying a much larger rise reported by a trade group a day earlier.
April West Texas Intermediate crude lost $1.45, or 2.3%, to settle at $61.15 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices, which posted gains in the last three sessions, had initially pared losses shortly after the supply data. May Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, fell $1.45, or 2.2%, to $64.34 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange. EIA reported U.S. crude inventories increased 2.4 million barrels last week. Estimates called for a build of around 2.7 million barrels.
Elsewhere, U.S. Treasuries alternated between gains and losses on Wednesday, finishing little changed; the benchmark 10-yr yield climbed one basis point to 2.88%.
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