Stocks – Major Wall Street Indexes Sink 3% as Yield Curve Sounds Recession Alarm

© Reuters. – Stocks plunged Wednesday after a key economic signal flashed a recession warning and both Germany and China showed more signs of slowing growth.

At the close, the , and were all off 3%.

The emotional catalyst came early in the day when the yield on the 10-Year Treasury note briefly fell below that of the 2-Year Treasury for the first time since 2007. An inverted yield curve suggests investors were unwilling to commit money for longer-term investments.

The 10-year yield closed at 1.595%, while the 2-year yield was at 1.589%. That the yields were so close only added to the worries about the economy.

The market slump comes in the backdrop of the continuing trade fight between the United States and China, which has hit Chinese exports and exports of a number of U.S. products, especially soybeans.

At the same time, slumping exports sent Germany’s economy into reverse in the second quarter, while Chinese industrial output growth cooled to a more-than-17-year low in July.

Interest rates globally have fallen as the scope of the slowdown has emerged. The Federal Reserve cut its key interest rate on July 31 to 2% to 2.25% in the face of bitter criticism from President Donald Trump, who has continued to bash the central bank, even Wednesday. The Fed is expected to cut rates again at its meeting in mid-September.

None of the Dow stocks were higher, although Coca-Cola (NYSE:NYSE:) and Walmart (NYSE:NYSE:), both classic defensive stocks, were off only slightly. Boeing (NYSE:NYSE:), Apple (NASDAQ:NASDAQ:), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:NYSE:), JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:NYSE:) and 3M (NYSE:NYSE:) were the biggest contributors to the Dow’s decline. Boeing’s decline was worth 68 Dow points.

Facebook (NASDAQ:), (NASDAQ:NASDAQ:), Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:NASDAQ:) and Tesla (NASDAQ:NASDAQ:) were all off at least 3%.

Energy, communications services (which includes

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