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US Markets Are Mixed, Global Trade War Concerns Fade

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S&P 500

After declining last week, the S&P 500 started this week on a stronger note and gained in the first three trading days. Amid the dented market sentiment, the S&P 500 opened lower on March 7, 2018, and closed the day almost flat. Eight out of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors declined on Wednesday. Weakness in the energy and consumer staples sectors weighed on the market. Strength in the IT and consumer discretionary sectors limited the market losses.

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Market sentiment

The market sentiment weakened on Wednesday following Gary Cohn’s resignation—President Trump’s top economic advisor. The market opened lower on Wednesday and traded weaker for most of the day. However, the sentiment improved and the market rebounded in the afternoon session following a statement from Sarah Sanders, the White House spokeswoman. The chance of not imposing import tariffs broadly for all countries and speculations about Mexico and Canada being exempt gave the market room to recover in the afternoon session.

Volatility

The CBOE Volatility Index (or VIX) measures uncertainty in the market. The index fell 3.3% to 17.76 on March 7. The index is measured on a scale of one to 100 with 20 as the historical average. The VIX is also called the “fear index.” Usually, the VIX has an inverse relationship with stocks and rises when the S&P 500 falls.

NASDAQ and Dow

The NASDAQ Composite Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower on Wednesday due to weak market sentiment. Amid strength in the IT sector, the NASDAQ Composite Index recovered and closed the day at 7,396.65 with a gain of 0.33%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average maintained its weakness throughout the day and broke the three-day gaining streak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.33% and closed the day at 24,801.36.

Next, we’ll discuss how the US Dollar Index and Treasury yields performed in the early hours on March 8.

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