US stocks fall on continued global growth fears

U.S. stocks turned decisively lower on Wednesday following a day in which equties rebounded from a beginning of the week selloff.

New concerns about a slowing economy emerged from Asia, when China's industrial firms posted their worst slump in profits since late 2011 in the first two months of this year, accoridng to Reuters.

Also, U.S. Treasury yields sank to fresh 15-month lows.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday the January trade deficit declined 14.6 percent, the largest decline since March 2018, to $51.1 billion also as softening domestic demand and lower oil prices curbed the import bill.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 33507.5 -158.84 -0.47%
SP500 S&P 500 4288.05 -11.65 -0.27%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 13219.321769 +18.05 +0.14%

In deal news, U.S. health insurer Centene Corp is buying its smaller rival WellCare Health Plans Inc for $15.27 billion in a cash-and-stock deal. The companies announced on Wednesday that the deal was valued at $17.3 billion, including debt.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
WCG n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
CNC CENTENE CORP. 68.88 -0.38 -0.55%

Shares were mixed in Europe and Asia as British lawmakers sought to end an impasse following the overwhelming defeat of Prime Minister Theresa May's proposed plan for leaving the European Union.

The debate over Brexit comes two days after lawmakers wrested control of the parliamentary agenda away from the government amid concern over May's willingness to compromise.

The House of Commons was scheduled Wednesday to debate the various alternatives for the split from the EU, after which lawmakers will be asked to vote for all of the options they could accept. The most popular ideas will move to a second vote on Monday in hopes of finding one option that can command a majority.


In European trading, the major markets ended the day with losses. London’s FTSE traded 0.3 percent lower, Germany's DAX was down 0.2 percent and France’s CAC was off 0.3 percent.

In Asian markets on Wednesday, shares in China rose ahead of the resumption of trade talks with the U.S. on Thursday in Beijing.

China’s Shanghai Composite jumped 0.9 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.6 percent and Japan's Nikkei index fell 0.2 percent.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.