US stocks plummeted on Wednesday after the spread between two- and 10-year Treasury yields fell below zero for the first time since 2007, igniting fears of an economic slowdown.
The occurrence is also referred to as “an inversion of the yield curve,” and it’s happened before each of the last seven recessions. The inversion has been coming for some time now, as the spread has been shrinking over the last several months.
Meanwhile, the yield on 30-year Treasurys also fell to a new low, piling onto concerns of a recession.
Here’s a look at the major indexes as of the 12:13 p.m. EST on Wednesday:
Worrisome data from Germany and China, two of the world’s largest economies, spurred the bond rally as investors fled to the relative safety of haven investments like long-term treasuries.
China’s industrial output growth shrunk to a 17-year low in July and fell short of analysts expectations. Retail sales and capital spending for July also came in below forecasts, indicating a broad-based slowdown in China’s economy.
Germany’s economy contracted by 0.1% in the second quarter as exports slumped amid the trade war between the US and China.
Bank stocks also fell amid the broad-market sell off as investors grew worried about profits from their lending businesses. Citigroup and Bank of America slid-more than 3%, as JPMorgan tumbled about 2.5%.
Wednesday’s losses erased gains from a rally on Tuesday that was prompted by the Trump administration’s decision to delay some tariffs on Chinese imports in September.