A look at highlights from the day's business news:
Stocks get a beatdown on global concerns
Stocks slid to close sharply lower Wednesday after a report showed the U.S. trade gap widened, and foreign data cast doubt on overseas demand for American goods.
The Dow Jones industrial average tumbled 265 points, or 2.5 percent, to close at
10,378.83. The Nasdaq sank 69 points, or 3 percent, to end at 2,208.63, and the S&P 500 fell 32 points, or 2.8 percent, to close at 1,089.47.
Earlier Wednesday, the government reported the trade deficit widened in June to $49.9 billion, much more than economists had expected.
Dollar hits 15-year low against yen
The dollar fell to a 15-year low against the Japanese yen Wednesday, as investors flocked to safe-haven trades after weak economic data was released by China and the Federal Reserve posted a bearish outlook.
The greenback fell as much as 0.83 percent against the Japanese yen to Â¥84.73 on Wednesday, before paring back some of those losses to trade around Â¥85.37.
It was the dollar's lowest level against the yen since 1995, when it traded around Â¥84.81.
Both the dollar and yen are typically seen as low risk trades during times of economic uncertainty, so downbeat economic data can often boost their value against other foreign currencies.
But the yen's strength is also viewed as a worrisome sign for Japan, as it makes exporting products to the U.S. more expensive for Japanese companies, said Phil Streible, a senior market strategist with futures broker Lind-Waldock.
Oil falls on downbeat economic data, stronger dollar
Oil once again trailed below $80 a barrel Wednesday, as investors mulled over dismal economic news from China, a bearish forecast from the Federal Reserve and a stronger dollar.
After a brief upswing above $80 last week, oil once again traded in the high $70s - where it has stayed the last three months - as investors look to negative economic data as signs of a slowdown that could curb demand for fuel.
Crude for September delivery fell $2.23, or 2.8 percent, settling at $78.02 Wednesday.
On Wednesday, China reported its lowest industrial output numbers and its highest level of inflation in nearly a year. The country also reported a monthly decline in retail sales.
Treasurys rise on economic jitters
Treasurys rallied Wednesday, as investors flocked to the security of U.S. debt amid concerns about a global economic slowdown.
The benchmark 10-year note rose 18/32 to 106-26/32, and its yield fell to 2.7 percent from 2.77 percent late Tuesday. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.
The 30-year bond jumped 1-8/32 to 107-19/32 with a yield of 3.94 percent. The two-year note gained less than 1/32 to 100-7/32 and yielded 0.52 percent, while the five-year note added 1/32 to 101-15/32 with a yield of 1.45 percent.
Prices were supported by government figures that showed the U.S. trade gap widened, and data on the Chinese economy further raised worries about the global recovery.
The advance came one day after the Federal Reserve said the economic recovery has weakened, and announced plans to reinvest in the Treasury market.
- CNNMoney.com reporters Julianne Pepitone, Annalyn Censky and Ben Rooney contributed to this report.