All eyes were on Wall Street at the opening bell Thursday in the wake of Wednesday's 800-point plummet—and the slide did not continue at the start. The Dow rose about 100 points at the open, though it then dipped modestly into the red in the first 10 minutes of trading before ticking back to black. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were behaving similarly. The Wall Street Journal used the word "volatility" in describing the state of the markets in the US and abroad, particularly after a new threat from China overnight to retaliate against proposed US tariffs. Elsewhere, world markets had a mixed day. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2%, while Tokyo's Nikkei lost 1.2% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.8%. In Europe, Germany's DAX was down 1.2%, while the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 1.4% lower.
Investors across financial assets have been gripped by developments in the US bond market, per the AP. On Wednesday they focused on the fact the yield, or interest rate, on the benchmark 10-year Treasury bond briefly dropped below the two-year Treasury's yield for the first time since 2007. That's a sign that traders have sought the sanctuary of US government bonds amid concerns of an economic slowdown. This so-called inversion of the US yield curve has accurately predicted the past five recessions. Traders clearly took fright at that development, with the Dow dropping 800 points, or 3.1%, on Wednesday—its worst performance of 2019.
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