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Wednesday's Market Wrap: Stocks Pull Back Mid-Week

The U.S. stock market recorded moderate losses on Wednesday with stocks closing near session lows. The only sector that did not fall on the day was consumer cyclicals, which added 0.15 percent. Selling pressure was most concentrated in basic materials and healthcare, which lost 2.06 percent and 1.51 percent, respectively.

Gainers included Lannett Company, Inc. LCI 13.71%, which added 14 percent on earnings, and COMSCORE, Inc. SCOR 7.68% which jumped 8 percent. Mining companies were among the losers on the day. Fortuna Silver Mines Inc FSM 14.88% fell 15 percent on Wednesday while Hecla Mining Company HL 12.95% lost 13 percent.

Major Averages

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 66 points, or 0.35 percent, to close at 18,481.

The S&P 500 shed a little more than 11 points, or 0.52 percent, to 2,175.

The Nasdaq lost 42 points, or 0.81 percent, to close at 5,218.

Existing Home Sales

Existing home sales for July came in at 5.50 million, which was below both the consensus of 5.54 million and the prior month reading of 5.57 million.

Commodities

The commodity complex was lower on Wednesday with the Bloomberg Commodity Index falling 1.17 percent.

NYMEX crude oil futures shed 2.74 percent to $46.78 while Brent contracts fell 1.90 percent to $49.01. Natural gas futures climbed 1.05 percent to $2.79 on the day.

Precious metals were fell mid-week. COMEX gold futures lost 1.37 percent to $1,327.70. The SPDR Gold Trust ETF GLD 1.11% fell 1.14 percent to close the equity session at $126.32. Silver contracts shed over 2 percent on the session to $18.52. The iShares Silver Trust ETF SLV 1.73% lost 1.73 percent to close at $17.62.

In the grains complex, corn and wheat were both lower on the session. Corn contracts fell 0.30 percent to $3.3625 and wheat futures lost 0.29 percent to $4.2625.

Bonds

Treasury prices were moderately lower on Wednesday. At the close of equities, the iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF TLT 0.24% had lost 0.24 percent to $139.70.

Treasury yields were as follows on Wednesday afternoon: The yield on the 2-Year Note was 0.76 percent. The 5-Year Note was yielding 1.13 percent. The 10-Year Note was last yielding 1.56 percent while the 30-Year Bond yield was 2.24 percent.

Currencies

The U.S. Dollar was moderately higher on Wednesday. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF UUP 0.29%, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, traded up 0.29 percent to $24.50. The closely watched EUR/USD pair fell 0.34 percent to 1.1266 euros.

Volatility and Volume

The modest market declines caused the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) to climb on the session. At last check, the VIX had added 8.64 percent to 13.45, which is still near the bottom of its 52-week range.

Volume picked up some on Wednesday. Around 71 million SPDR S&P 500 ETF SPY 0.51% shares traded hands versus a 3-month daily average of just over 89 million shares. Trading in the PowerShares QQQ Trust QQQ 0.65%, which tracks the Nasdaq 100, was below average with around 17 million shares being traded compared to a 3-month daily average of 21.7 million.

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