Stocks slip after China says exports fell in December

Stock markets around the world are down Monday after China reported a drop in exports in December. Fears about the health of China’s economy and the global economy overall were a major contributor to the stock market‘s plunge in late 2018. Technology companies and retailers are taking some of the biggest losses.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 13 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,583 as of 10:10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 87 points, or 0.4 percent, to 23,908. The Nasdaq composite retreated 59 points, or 0.9 percent, to 6,912. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks shed 6 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,441.

The S&P 500 dropped almost 20 percent from late September until the day before Christmas, partly because investors were worried that the global economy was slowing down dramatically and could go into a recession soon. Since Dec. 26, stocks have regained about half of what they lost in the downturn, but investors remain sensitive to signs of economic trouble.

CHINA TRADE: China’s exports slipped in December, and exports to the U.S. fell 3.5 percent as rising tariffs and broader weakness affected the world’s second-largest economy. For the year, exports from China to the U.S. rose 11.3 percent and imports from the U.S. rose just 0.7 percent. Negotiators from the U.S. and China met earlier this month for three days of trade talks, but it’s not clear how much progress was made or when the two sides will meet again.

Apple lost 1.5 percent to $149.94 while Microsoft gave up 1 percent to $101.79 and chipmaker Texas Instruments dipped 2 percent to $96.62. Among companies focused more on U.S. consumers, Amazon fell 1.7 percent to $1,612 and Wynn Resorts, which runs casinos in Macau, slumped 4 percent to $109.05.

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