Major US stock indexes finished trading in negative territory

Major US stock indices fell slightly on Wednesday amid a statement by US President Donald Trump about a possible temporary halt to the work of the government if it does not agree on the construction of the border wall in Mexico, as well as his words about abandoning the trade agreement with Mexico and Canada.

Meanwhile, US private sector companies announced a sharp and accelerated increase in business activity in August. This was demonstrated by the preliminary composite PMI index from IHS Markit for the US, which increased seasonally from 54.6 to 56.0, indicating the fastest growth in total activity since May 2015. The growth of the composite index was caused by a sharp increase in business activity in the sphere Services in August (the preliminary activity index rose to 56.9 from 54.7 in July). This contrasts with the slowdown in the growth of the manufacturing sector (the preliminary production index fell to 52.2 in August from 54.1 in July).

Meanwhile, sales of new homes in the US unexpectedly fell in July, reaching the lowest level in 7 months, which may cause concern about slowing the recovery in the housing market. The Ministry of Trade reported that, taking into account seasonal fluctuations, sales of new buildings fell by 9.4%, reaching 571 thousand units (recalculated for annual rates). The last value is the lowest since December 2016. The percentage drop was the highest since August 2016.

Most components of the DOW index recorded a decline (22 out of 30). Outsider were shares of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ, -1.48%). The leader of growth was shares United Technologies Corporation (UTX, + 1.14%).

Most sectors of the S & P index showed an increase. The sector of basic materials grew most (+ 0.7%). The largest decline was in the services sector (-0.6%).

At closing:

DJIA -0.40% 21,811.62 -88.27

Nasdaq -0.30% 6,278.41 -19.07

S & P -0.35% 2,444.02 -8.49