Close Update: Wall Street Halts Rally as S&P 500, Nasdaq Post First Declines of 2018

Wall Street halted its rally on Wednesday, with the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 posting the first declines of 2018 and stemming gains at a six-day stretch as advances in financials couldn't overshadow weakness in real estate, utilities and telecoms.

The indices attempted to recoup some losses into the bell but still ended in the red, weighed down by headlines that China was reconsidering its purchases of U.S. Treasury securities and after Reuters said Canada is increasingly convinced President Donald Trump will pull the U.S. from the North American Free Trade Agreement.

On the Dow, Intel ( INTC ) led losses as more than half of the blue chips retreated. The stock fell 2.6% to extend its 2018 declines after the reveal last week of security vulnerabilities in chips including those made by the tech giant.

Information technology was down 0.4% on the S&P, but the most pronounced losses came in real estate and utilities as nine of the 11 sectors declined. A move higher in U.S. oil futures didn't lift the energy sector and it ended 0.1% weaker by the bell. The best gain came in financials, with the sector up 0.8% ahead of key earnings reports Friday.

The story on NAFTA weighed on the Canadian dollar and Mexican peso along with stocks that are seen as having benefited from the trade deal, with General Motors ( GM ) down 2.3%, Delphi Technologies ( DLPH ) slid 3.4% and Kansas City Southern ( KSU ) lost 3.6%.

On theeconomic calendar the day's data was mixed with import prices climbing 0.1% in December, but export prices fell 0.1%, both of which missed expectations. Wholesale inventories increased 0.8% in November, while sales shot up 1.5%, driving the inventory/sales ratio down to 1.24 from 1.25 in October.

Here's where the markets stood by the close:


Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 16.67 points (-0.07%)

S&P 500 was down 3.06 points (-0.11%)

Nasdaq Composite Index was down 10.01 points (-0.14%)


FTSE 100 was up 0.23%

Nikkei 225 was down 0.26%

Hang Seng Index was up 0.2%

Shanghai China Composite Index was up 0.24%


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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2016 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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