Investing.com – The S&P 500 closed lower on Wednesday as U.S. government bond yields continued to decline, keeping fears of a recession alive.
The benchmark United States 10-Year yield slumped to 14-month lows, ending the day below the key 2.40% level. That continued to keep fears of a recession alive in the wake of a recent inversion in the yield curve.
Energy stocks added to the selling pressure as WTI, the benchmark U.S. crude, fell nearly 1% after the Energy Information Administration revealed crude oil stockpiles unexpectedly rose last week.
But a rebound in shares of Boeing (NYSE:BA) lifted industrials, keeping a lid on losses in the broader market.
Boeing turned positive, ending the day 1% higher, after unveiling a software fix and range of measures, including cockpit alerts and additional pilot training for its grounded 737 MAX jets to boost the safety of the aircraft following two recent deadly crashes.
A Boeing official said reviews of its software update have not flagged any additional concerns, The Wall Street Journal reported.
"(W)e have uncovered nothing that concerns us in any of those areas," the official said. "Those reviews continue (and) they will continue for some time."
Rising airlines stocks also helped the market.
Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) rose 2.2%, despite cutting its capacity growth projections for the first quarter, blaming weather-related cancellations and the grounding of the 737 Max planes. American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) gained 2.4%, and Alaska Air Group (NYSE:ALK) added 2%.
In tech, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) ended higher after it scored a preliminary legal win on the second of two cases filed by Qualcomm at the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, escaping an import ban of a broad range of iPhones.
In the first case, a day earlier, an International Trade Commission judge said that Apple had infringed on a Qualcomm patent and ruled that some models of older iPhones should be banned from being imported into the United States. Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) ended the day 1.9% lower.
On the economic front, the U.S. trade deficit narrowed to $51.10 billion in January, the Commerce Department said. That was below the $57 billion deficit forecast by economists.
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