STOCKS TANK AFTER BAD NEWS: Here's What You Need To Know

A day after hitting an all-time high, stocks took a beating thanks to some ugly economic news.

First the scoreboard:

Dow: 14,691, -148.0 pts, -1.0%
S&P 500: 1,581, -15.6 pts, -0.9%
NASDAQ: 3,296, -31.5 pts, -0.9%

And now the top stories:

  • The bad news started in Asia.  First, we learned that Korean export growth dropped sharply in April.  Then we learned that Chinese manufacturing decelerated more than expected.
  • In the U.S., the ADP jobs report showed that America’s private companies added just 119k new jobs in April.  This was much less than the 150k expected by economists.  This doesn’t bode well for Friday’s official jobs report.
  • The American manufacturing picture was a bit mixed, but that was largely due to economists’ expectations being so low.  U.S. PMI fell to 52.1 in April from 54.6 last month.  The ISM Manufacturing index fell to 50.7 from 51.3 last month.  Both readings were a bit above expectations.  Also, any reading above 50 signals growth.
  • Construction spending was particularly ugly, unexpectedly falling 1.7% month-over-month in March.  Economists were looking for a month-over-month gain of 0.6%.  “The construction spending data are not that bad,” said Deutsche Bank’s Joe LaVorgna in a tweet.  “They point to $4 billion more Q1 output than BEA first assumed.”
  • Facebook announces earnings after the closing bell.  Follow the announcement live on
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