U.S. stocks ended lower on Wednesday amid continuous declines in Asian stocks and concerns over Greece. Stocks traded lower throughout the session, especially after trading on the New York Stock Exchange was suspended for three-and-a-half hours. Traders generally ignored the release of Fed meeting minutes.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 261.49 points, or 1.5%, to 17,515.42 (its lowest closing level since February). The S&P 500 fell 34.65 points, or 1.7%, to close at 2,046.69 (the lowest closing level since March). All 10 main sectors of the index finished lower. The Nasdaq Composite declined 87.70 points, or 1.8% to 4,909.76.
In Asia this morning Hong Kong Hang Seng gained 3.43%, or 805.67.97 points, to end 24,322.23. China Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.30%, or 45.58 points, to 3,552.78. Meanwhile the Nikkei lost 1.25%, or 247.65 points, to 19,489.99.
Chinese stocks rebounded. Late on Wednesday in an attempt to halt a plunge in stock prices the country's securities regulator ordered shareholders with stakes of more than 5% not to sell shares for the next six months. Investors' fears related to sharp declines in Chinese equities started to fade. Traders started buying stocks, which had lost much of their price, expecting recent steps by the government to help stabilize markets.