Thursday, September 20 15:42:21
U.S. stocks fell today as data showing slowing growth in China and Europe, and weak U.S employment figures, underscored the headwinds faced by the global economy even as central banks aggressively step up stimulus measures.
The data pressured stocks at the forefront of economic activity, such as miners and energy companies. U.S. crude eased to trade under $92 a barrel, dropping for a fourth day, while copper slipped from 4-1/2 month highs. Shares of aluminum producer Alcoa fell 1.3 percent.
"Sell on the central bank news, I continue to say for now, as the reality of slowing economic and earnings growth, that was swept under the rug for a few months, pops back out again over the next month," Peter Boockvar, equity strategist and portfolio manager at Miller Tabak in New York said in a note.
Manufacturing in China contracted for an 11th straight month in September, according to a private sector survey of factory managers; in the euro zone, a downturn in activity in the service sector steepened this month at the fastest pace since July 2009.
The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week, but from an upwardly revised number the prior weak, with the underlying tone of the report pointing to some weakening in the labour market.
Shares of railroad company Norfolk Southern Corp dropped 6.8 percent to $67.74 after it said weaker shipments of coal and merchandise as well as lower fuel-surcharge revenue would reduce its third-quarter earnings compared with a year earlier.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 50.18 points, or 0.37 percent, to 13,527.78. The Standard and Poor's 500 Index fell 6.74 points, or 0.46 percent, to 1,454.31. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 16.77 points, or 0.53 percent, to 3,165.85.