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Stocks Move Back To The Downside - U.S. Commentary


Following the rally seen in the previous session, stocks moved back to the downside during trading on Wednesday.

The Dow slid 218.55 points or 0.9 percent to 24,189.45, the Nasdaq dipped 25.27 points or 0.4 percent to 7,069.03 and the S&P 500 fell 14.68 points or 0.6 percent to 2,642.19.

The weakness on Wall Street came amid geopolitical concerns after President Donald Trump warned Russia "get ready" for missiles being launched at Syria.

On the U.S. economic front, the Labor Department released a report showing a modest decrease in consumer prices in the month of March.

The Labor Department said the consumer price index dipped by 0.1 percent in March after rising by 0.2 percent in February. Economists had expected consumer prices to come in unchanged.

Excluding food and energy prices, core consumer price index rose by 0.2 percent March, matching the increase seen in the previous month. The uptick in core prices matched economist estimates.

Later in the day, the Federal Reserve released the minutes of its latest monetary policy meeting, which showed members of the central bank discussed the need to slow down the economy.

Some member said that "monetary policy eventually would likely gradually move from an accommodative stance to being a neutral or restraining factor for economic activity," the minutes said.

At the March meeting, the Fed raised its benchmark federal-funds rate by a quarter percentage point to between 1.5% and 1.75%.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.5 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index climbed by 0.6 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index dropped by 0.6 percent and the German DAX Index slid by 0.8 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries ended the day roughly flat after moving to the upside earlier in the session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, dipped by less than a basis point to 2.970 percent.

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