Stocks fell on Wall Street Wednesday, sending the market to its first loss in three days, after more depressing data rolled in on the devastation sweeping the global economy, the AP reports. The S&P 500 dropped 0.7%, and three out of four stocks in the index sank. But the market’s losses would have been much worse if not for continued gains for technology stocks. Momentum for Microsoft, Apple, and other tech stocks has proven to be nearly unstoppable this year, even in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, and more gains for them almost singlehandedly kept Wall Street steady for much of Wednesday’s trading. The S&P 500 wavered between modest gains and losses for much of the day before it turned lower in the last half hour, ending down 20.02 points at 2,848.42.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 218.45 points, or 0.9%, to 23,664.64. The Nasdaq, which is full of tech stocks, rose 45.27, or 0.5%, to 8,854.39. A report Wednesday morning showed private US employers eliminated an astonishing 20.2 million jobs last month. It sets a dour stage for Friday’s more comprehensive monthly jobs report from the U.S. government. Across the Atlantic, the European Union said Wednesday that it’s bracing for a “recession of historic proportions” amid restrictions meant to slow the spread of the virus. Financial stocks weighed particularly heavy on the market, and JPMorgan Chase fell 1.9% while Wells Fargo lost 2.7%. Energy stocks were also down after oil prices gave up some of their gains from earlier in the week. (Read more stock market stories.)