Stocks retreat as China trade data spark more global economic worries


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

How are major benchmarks faring?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.31% slid 72 points, or 0.3%, to 23,923, while the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.38% fell 11 points, or 0.5%, to 2,584. The Nasdaq Composite Index NQH9, -0.62% dropped 47 points, or 0.7%, to 6,923.  

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

What’s driving the market?

Appetite for assets perceived as risky, such as stocks, took a hit after data showed weak China imports and exports for December, which underscored worries of a slowdown in the global growth engine. 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 reach resolving their continuing trade conflict.

A new earnings cycle kicked off with Citigroup Inc. C, +4.03%  reporting its quarterly results, producing better-than-expected profit but falling below estimates on revenues. JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM, +1.00% Wells Fargo & Co. WFC, +0.72% BlackRock Inc. BLK, -0.45% Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS, +0.90%  and Netflix Inc. NFLX, -0.81%  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

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

Brexit concerns will rise to the forefront this week as U.K. lawmakers get ready to vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s separation deal with the European Union Tuesday. U.K. opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said Sunday

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