The major averages finished little changed, taking a breather following a wild month of trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 41 points at 26,403. The S&P 500 ended the day just above the flatline at 2,926 while the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.1% to 7,962.The major indexes posted their worst monthly performance since May. The Dow fell 1.7% while the S&P 500 lost 1.8%. The Nasdaq pulled back 2.6%. U.S.-China trade relations intensified this month, rattling investors.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered to be the best fear gauge on Wall Street, traded as high as 24.81 in August before pulling back to around 18. Investors also loaded up on traditionally safer assets such as gold and silver this month. The SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) rose 8% in August while the iShares Silver Trust (SLV) surged 12.8%.
Last week, China retaliated against U.S. tariffs by unveiling levies of its own that target $75 billion in U.S. products. President Donald Trump then said the U.S. would hike tariffs on a slew of Chinese products and requested US companies to start moving out of China.
In Corporate news, Ulta Beauty dropped 29% after the company missed revenue estimates and lowered its full-year guidance. Workday dropped 5% leading the cloud software stocks lower despite positive results and upbeat guidance. Dell rose 10% and Campbell Soup rose 3.9% after both beat earnings expectations.
Home Depot rose modestly with Hurricane Dorian which could become a Category 4 storm bears down on the east coast of Florida.
U.S. Treasuries finished slightly higher in a muted session. The 2-yr yield declined two basis points to 1.50%, and the 10-yr yield declined one basis point to 1.51%. The U.S. Dollar Index advanced 0.3% to 98.81.