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Stocks - S&P Falls Back on Economic and Trade Worries

Investing.com - Stocks sold off Thursday as trade and economic worries took over markets a day after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell painted a rosy picture on the domestic economy.

The Dow Jones industrials were off 0.52%. The S&P 500 was down 0.3%, and the Nasdaq Composite index dropped 0.14%.

The Dow was pulled down by weakness in Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA), 3M Company (NYSE:MMM), Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) and Boeing (NYSE:BA). Boeing was off 1.7% on continued controversy over the 737 Max airliner's developement and subtracted 40 points from the Dow by itself.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was up 2.1% after reporting better-than-expected fiscal-fourth-quarter results, was the Dow leader, adding more than 33 points. Apple also contributed 13.4 points to the Nasdaq 100 index. That index, however, ended the day flat.

The slump was set off by a Bloomberg News report suggesting China may well resist signing a comprehensive trade deal, in part because its leaders don't trust President Donald Trumps's impulsive nature. The Dow was down as many as 268 points before bargain hunting set in and cut the Dow's loss nearly in half.

In economic news, the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index fell 43.2 for October, its lowest level since Dec. 2015.

The S&P 500 reached news highs during the month and ended up nearly 1.9%. The Dow had a more modest 0.25% gain. The Nasdaq jumped 3.5%, thanks to big gains in tech stocks, including Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and a host of chip stocks.

Crude oil finished lower, mostly because of the trade worries. Gold jumped as investors sought safety from the stock pullback.

Interest rates moved lower with the 10-Year Treasury yield falling to 1.686% from Wednesday's 1.796%.

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