Investing.com – Stocks found a footing after plunging right after Wednesday’s open, finishing the day mostly ahead.
The were off nearly 600 points by 9:45 AM ET (13:45 GMT) but recovered to finish down just 0.1% or 22 points. The was down as much as 0.2%, or 56 points, but came back to finish with a gain of 0.1%. The ended up 0.4% after falling as much as 1.3%.
Markets around the world were punched about by a surprising earnings disappointment from Walt Disney (NYSE:) and unexpected interest-rate cuts in India, New Zealand and Thailand. The rate cuts were due in part to slowing growth in all three countries and continued worries about the effects of the United States-China trade fight.
The uncertainty created by the rate cuts helped futures jump to a six-year high of $1519.60 an ounce, up $35.40 or 2.4%. Gold is up 4.3% this week and 5.7% so far in August. Its 18.6% gain for the year is better than the year-to-date gains for the , and the .
Gold-mining stocks were higher, and the SPDR® Gold Shares (NYSE:) exchange-traded fund added 1.5%. It’s up 16.3% for the year, thanks to a 9.2% gain in the second quarter and a 5.9% gain so far in the third quarter. The gold-shares ETF invests directly in gold.
Disney missed earnings estimates and disclosed it was taking an earnings impairment from the box-office failure of “Dark Phoenix,” a film inherited from its $71 billion merger with the Fox studio business.
The shares were off 4.9% and subtracted about 47 points by themselves. Still, the shares are up 23% on the year.
The market’s gyrations came as bond yields tumbled. The fell to 1.709% from Tuesday’s 1.739% after falling to a 52-week low of 1.595%.
The rate drop helped the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (NASDAQ:) exchange-traded fund hit a 52-week high of $143.06. The ETF ended at $140.03, up slightly on the day. The ETF, however, is up 15.2% this year as rates have come down.
The rate declines hurt financial stocks.
JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:), down 2.2%, was the Dow’s biggest loser after Disney . SVB Financial Group (NASDAQ:), parent of Silicon Valley Bank, fell 4.7%. Charles Schwab (NYSE:) dropped 4.6%.
Oil prices fell nearly 5% and are now off more than 20% since peaking in April. futures fell nearly 5% to $50.96 a barrel. crude slumped 4.6% to $56.22.
The oil-price decline hit energy stocks, especially oil-services stocks like Schlumberger (NYSE:) and Halliburton (NYSE:) and oil-and-exploration stocks like Apache (NYSE:).
The broader context of all this volatility was the Sino-American trade fight, which intensified when the United States said it would impose 10% tariffs on Chinese goods imported into the United States. The Chinese retaliated by letting its currency, the yuan, weaken to 7 to the dollar.
Winners and Losers in the S&P 500
Fleetcor Technologies (NYSE:), which offers workforce payment products like fuel cards; insurance company Assurant (NYSE:) and healthcare and pharmacy company CVS Health (NYSE:) were among the top S&P 500 performers on the day.
Medical-equipment company ABIOMED (NASDAQ:), Walt Disney (NYSE:) and SVB Financial Group (NASDAQ:) were among the S&P 500 laggards on the day.