Investing.com — Stocks fell broadly on U.S. markets on Wednesday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average recorded its first triple-digit drop in more than six weeks following the release of a flurry of mixed economic data.
In U.S. morning trading, stocks on the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell approximately 175 points before rallying slightly in the afternoon after the U.S. Services Sector reported its highest activity level since October. The Dow closed down for the second straight day, falling 0.58% or 106.47 points to 18,096.90.
Meanwhile, the NASDAQ Composite index dropped for the second consecutive day after cracking the 5,000 barrier on Monday and the SP 500 index closed down for the fifth time in six days. The NASDAQ Composite index fell 0.26% or 12.76 to 4,967.14, while the SP 500 dropped 0.44% or 9.25 to 2,098.53.
On the SP 500, nine out of 10 sectors experienced declines as health care was the only sector on the index to close higher on Wednesday. Stocks in the telecommunication services, consumer staples and industrials sectors were among the worst performers of the session.
The top performer on the Dow Jones Industrial Average was UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH), which rose 0.91% or 1.03 to 113.89. McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD), meanwhile, gained 0.49% to close at 100.23, after the company announced a new policy to use only Chicken raised without antibiotics. The worst performer was American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) which dropped 1.54% or 1.26 to close at 80.65. Caterpillar Inc (NYSE:CAT), also fell 1.36% or 1.26 to 81.71 after its price estimate was revised following weak demand for machinery and equipment in the global mining sector.
On the NASDAQ Composite index, the top performer was SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK), which rose 4.92% or 3.89 to 82.98 following the company’s announcement on its new all-flash storage platform a day earlier. The new technology will allow SanDisk to cut prices for its storage platforms by approximately 50%, the company said. The worst performer on Wednesday was Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST), which fell 3.24% or 1.33 to 39.77.
The biggest performer on the SP 500 was Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY), which closed up more than 6% after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its drug Opdivo to treat lung cancer. It marked the first time the FDA approved an immunotherapy drug for lung cancer. Bristol-Myers Squibb rose 3.77 points on Wednesday to close at 65.69. The worst performer, meanwhile, was CONSOL Energy Inc (NYSE:CNX), which dropped 4.37% or 1.39 points to 30.39.
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