2nd LD-Writethru: U.S. stocks fall sharply amid growth fears

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 23, 2019
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NEW YORK, March 22 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks fell sharply in intraday trading on Friday as Wall Street grappled with fears of global economic slowdown triggered by the downbeat economic data from major European countries and the Federal Reserve's cautious outlook on the U.S. economy.

At midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 404.24 points, or 1.56 percent, to 25,558.27. The S&P 500 dipped 47.07 points, or 1.65 percent, to 2,807.81. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 163.54 points, or 2.09 percent, to 7,675.42.

Nike shares dropped more than 5 percent in midday trading, among the worst performers in the Dow.

Boeing stock decreased 2.3 percent around midday after reports said that Indonesian airline Garuda canceled its order for 49 Boeing 737 Max jets.

Nine of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors traded lower around midday, with both financials and materials down more than 2.5 percent, leading the laggards.

"U.S. equities traded lower mainly on bad news on growth in the Eurozone. The volume is lower than usual so far today. Everyone is trading following stories," John Monaco, a trader at Wellington Shields & Co. LLC, told Xinhua.

The euro zone economy lost momentum again in March, expanding only modestly as manufacturers reported their steepest downturn for six years, said the global information provider IHS Markit on Friday.

According to the IHS Markit report, in Germany, business activity grew at its slowest rate since June 2013 with new orders declining for a third successive month. In France, business activity fell for the third time in four months.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Federal Reserve also lowered its economic growth forecast for 2019.

The renewed fears over slowing global growth were widely shared by traders on Friday.

In the bond markets, the spread between the U.S. 3-month Treasury bill yield and the 10-year note rate turned negative, the first time since 2007, according to Refinitiv Tradeweb data.

An inverted yield curve happens when short-term rates surpass their longer-term counterparts. This is considered an important indicator of a recession coming in the near future, experts noted. Enditem

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