Stocks overcame a big loss on Wall Street Wednesday, though the market’s recovery left plenty of signs of worry among investors that the fallout from the trade war between the U.S. and China will spread.
A late-afternoon rally lifted most of the major stock indexes out of the red, reversing most of the early slide that briefly pulled the Dow Jones Industrial Average down more than 580 points. Technology and consumer staples stocks powered much of the gains, offsetting losses in banks, energy companies and other sectors.
Even so, the moves in the bond and commodities markets signaled that investors are nervous that the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China may derail the global economy.
Bond yields sank around the world, something that happens when investors see a weaker economy and low inflation on the way. The price of oil tanked and the price of gold shot up to its highest level in six years as traders sought safe-haven holdings.
“You did see buyers come back to the market, which is a good sign for the market in the near term,” said Lindsey Bell, investment strategist with CFRA Research. “Investors need to buckle in for some volatility here in the next couple of months.”
The S&P 500 index eked out a gain of 2.21 points, or 0.1%, to 2,883.98. The index had been down 2% during the heaviest bout of selling.
The Dow dropped 22.45 points, or 0.1%, to 26,007.07. It had been down as much as 589 points.
The Nasdaq led the market’s upward swing, climbing 29.56 points, or 0.4%, to 7,862.83. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies lost 1.40 points, or 0.1%, to 1,500.69.
The market has been roiled the past couple of weeks by growing anxiety as the U.S. and China clash over trade.