The S&P 500 has recovered from steep early losses to end slightly higher as investors snapped up oversold shares and bond yields rebounded from significant lows that raised fears about a recession. Increasing worries over a global economic downturn and bets the Federal Reserve will have to pick up its pace of interest rate cuts pushed Treasury yields sharply lower early, with 10-year yields touching their lowest since October 2016.

Ten-year yields began to cut their earlier decline in afternoon trading after a soft auction. During the session, the premium on three-month Treasury bill rates over 10-year Treasury yields, a closely watched US recession indicator, was at its most elevated levels since March 2007.

Financials were the biggest loser among S&P 500 sectors, down 1.2 per cent, while the staples and materials indexes ended up more than 1 per cent each. Investors also were attracted to some bargains in shares after the recent sell-off. The S&P 500 is down 4.7 per cent since its July 26 record high close.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22.45 points, or 0.09 per cent, to 26,007.07, the S&P 500 gained 2.21 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 2,883.98 and the Nasdaq Composite added 29.56 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 7,862.83.

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