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  • S&P 500 Energy Index drops more than 5% on Wednesday.
  • Retail Sales in US declined by 8.7% in March.
  • CBOE Volatility Index rises sharply to reflect flight-to-safety.

Wall Street’s major equity indexes started the day deep in the negative territory on Wednesday as flight-to-safety, once again, dominates the financial markets.

Markets turn risk-averse

The CBOE Volatility Index, Wall Street’s fear gauge, is up nearly 13% on the day to confirm the risk-off atmosphere. As of writing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2.15% on the day while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were down 2.1% and 1.5%, respectively.

The data from the US on Wednesday revealed that Retail Sales declined by 8.7% on a monthly basis in March and Industrial Production contracted by 5.4% in the same period.

Among the 11 major S&P 500 sectors, the Energy Index is losing more than 5% pressured by a sharp drop in crude oil prices. Meanwhile, the rate-sensitive Financials Index is down 3.75% amid a 10% drop in the 10-year US Treasury bond yield.