- Wall Street fell Friday as weaker-than-expected economic data added to concerns about oil prices, which entered a bear market on Thursday.
- China reported weakening auto and manufacturing data overnight.
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Stocks stumbled Friday as worries about slowing economic growth weighed on Wall Street, with energy and high-flying technology companies among the biggest losers.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.41%, or 108 points, and the S&P 500 was down 1.85%. The Nasdaq Composite shed 1.39% as Amazon, Facebook, and Google-parent company Alphabet all slid. Meanwhile, General Electric plummeted to its lowest point since the financial crisis.
Oil prices continued to fall sharply as rising inventories overshadowed energy sanctions against Iran that took effect this week. West Texas intermediate slid deeper into a bear market, trading at just over $US60 a barrel, or down more than 20% from recent highs. Brent, the international benchmark, fell below $US70 a barrel.
Not helping the mood, a series of disappointing economic data came out in China overnight. Its biggest auto-industry association said sales were down for a fourth month, sliding a steep 11.7% in October. Meanwhile, government data showed producer inflation also fell last month as manufacturing activity slowed. The Shanghai Composite closed down 1.4% at 2,598.87.
Concerns about slowing growth came against the backdrop of an ongoing trade dispute between the US and China, which has resulted in billions of dollars worth of tariffs levied between the world’s two largest economies.
High-level delegations from the two nations met Friday in Washington to discuss a range of issues, including trade and North Korea. Separately, White House adviser Peter Navarro accused Wall Street executives he called “globalist billionaires” of trying to interfere with negotiations. President Donald Trump is expected to meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping at a multilateral summit in Argentina later this month.
“No good can come of this. If there is a deal, if and when there is a deal, it will be on President Donald J. Trump’s terms, not Wall Street terms,” Navarro said during a speech at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, according to Reuters.
The dollar jumped 0.27% against a basket of currencies, and Treasury yields fell, with the 10-year down 4.3 basis points to 3.189%. On Thursday, the Federal Reserve kept its benchmark interest rate steady at 2.25% and signalled its fourth hike of the year could come in December.