U.S. stocks fluctuated during Wednesday’s trading amid the release of key manufacturing data. Better-than-expected factory and services activity in China signaled the country’s economic rebound, Andrew Tyler, head of the US Market Intelligence team at JP Morgan, observed.
Futures on the benchmark S&P 500 Index remained fairly static, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.1% higher. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose by 0.06%.
Local manufacturing data appeared less optimistic, with the latest PMI data from S&P Global indicating a “solid deterioration in the health of the goods-producing sector, despite the pace of decline softening to the slowest for three months.” The S&P Global US Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index ended February at 47.3, marginally higher than 46.9 in January. The level was lowered before the month’s end.
Despite a tumultuous February, the S&P 500 remains 3.4% up this year. Bespoke Investment Group observed that according to historical data, the index can be expected to make further gains in the second half of March.
Crude oil traded lower on Wednesday, with West Texas Intermediate slipping to $77.03 per barrel. The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note moved upward to 3.96%.