U.S. stocks finished flat on Wednesday, as investors continued to show growing concern over global growth.
A topsy-turvy day saw the Dow drop 277 points in morning trading, before an afternoon rally returned the index to its starting point. The Chinese yuan declined yet again, as the People’s Bank of China embarked upon a policy of setting the currency’s value daily, according to the ending position of the global market. Today, that meant another drop of 1.6%.
With the yuan now standing at its four-year low, the concerns are twofold—a slowdown in the Chinese economy, the world’s second-largest—as well as an impending “currency war”, where governments artificially manipulate their currencies to gain an advantage in the international trade market.
The Dow briefly hit a six-month low before recovering its daily losses.
The other big story was oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Oil reached a new six-year low Tuesday at $43.08 per barrel. On Wednesday, prices stabilized and actually advanced slightly to $43.30 per barrel.
Here are the final numbers from Wednesday on Wall Street:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 17,402.51 (-0.33)
NASDAQ: 5,044.39 (+7.60)
S&P 500: 2,086.05 (+1.98)