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  • Falling crude oil prices weighed on energy shares on Thursday.
  • Defensive sectors close the day in the positive territory.
  • Treasury Secretary Mnuchin says he has no plans to travel to Beijing.

Major equity indexes in the U.S. started the day in the negative territory on Thursday and failed to make a meaningful recovery before finish the day with modest losses.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the day 100.85 points, or 0.39%, lower at 25,776.48, while the S&P and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.28% and 0.45%, respectively.

Earlier today, during a hearing with U.S. lawmakers in Washington, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin explained that the Trump administration was at least a month away from imposing tariffs on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese imports and added  that he currently had no plans to travel to Beijing for a fresh round of negotiations.  

Meanwhile, the FOMC in the minutes of its May meeting repeated that a patient approach  to determining future adjustments to target range was appropriate. Commenting on the FOMC’s statement, “I don’t think the Fed is a major consideration for the market right now. There are times when geopolitical factors overwhelm everything else, and we believe this is increasingly one of those times,”  Robert Phipps, a director at Per Stirling Capital Management in Austin, told Reuters.

Among the 11-major S&P 500 sectors, the Energy Index closed the day 1.58% lower pressured by falling crude oil prices after the EIA reported a larger-than-expected build in crude oil inventories. On the other hand, the so-called defensive Real Estat, Consumer Staples, and Utilities  indexes posted gains.