Stocks close lower as China trade data spark more global economic worries


U.S. stocks closed lower Monday as weaker-than-expected China trade data sparked fresh fears of a global economic slowdown. Corporate results were also in the spotlight as fourth-quarter earnings season got under way.

How did major benchmarks fare?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.36% slid 86.11 points, or 0.4%, to end at 23,909.84, while the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.53% fell 13.65 points, or 0.5%, to 2,582.61. The Nasdaq Composite Index NQH9, -0.99% dropped 65.56 points, or 0.9%, to close at 6,905.92.  

Read: The most important skill traders need isn’t when to buy—it’s when (and what) to sell

What drove the market?

Appetite for assets perceived as risky, such as stocks, took a hit after data showed China’s trade growth slowing, which underscored worries of the global economic engine losing steam. And China’s trade surplus with the U.S. soared to a record of $323.32 billion in 2018 even as the two countries continue to try to resolve their trade conflict.

See: China growth worries flare up again after trade data

A new earnings cycle kicked off with Citigroup Inc. reporting its quarterly results, producing better-than-expected profit but falling below estimates on revenues. JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM, +1.03% Wells Fargo & Co. WFC, +1.15% BlackRock Inc. BLK, -0.37% Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS, +1.01%  and Netflix Inc. NFLX, -1.38%  are a few of the other big companies due to report this week.

Read: Citigroup is up first as big banks kick off fourth-quarter earnings season

Also see: Here’s why Germany may already be in a ‘technical’ recession

Investors were jittery ahead of the start of the fourth-quarter earnings reporting season after a high- profile warning from Apple Inc. AAPL, -1.50%

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