Stocks closed broadly lower on Wall Street Thursday after investors got spooked by a published report that cast doubt on the prospects of a long-term U.S-China trade deal.
Bond prices surged, sending yields sharply lower, as traders turned cautious. The sell-off was a marked shift from a day earlier, when the S&P 500 notched its second all-time high this week.
Despite the sell-off, the benchmark index closed out October with its second straight monthly gain as an easing of trade tensions and surprisingly good corporate earnings gave investors more confidence.
Industrial stocks led the selling Thursday after a published report raised concerns about the prospects of a comprehensive trade deal between Washington and Beijing. That overshadowed remarks by President Donald Trump, who touted Thursday that both sides are working on finding a location to sign “phase one” of the trade deal.
“It’s mainly the concerns about whether there will be some kind of trade deal with China, both the first round and the bigger agreement that, obviously, appears further away,” said Kate Warne, chief investment strategist at Edward Jones. “When there’s good news on trade negotiations, stocks tend to move up, and when there’s bad news or concerns, stocks tend to sell off.”
The S&P 500 index fell 9.21 points, or 0.3%, to 3,037.56. The benchmark index is on track for its fourth-straight weekly gain and is now up 21.2% this year.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 140.46 points, or 0.5%, to 27,046.23. It had briefly slumped 268 points.
The Nasdaq slid 11.62 points, or 0.1%, to 8,292.36. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks lost 10.40 points, or 0.7%, to 1,562.45.