NEW YORK: Unexpectedly poor economic data sent Wall Street back into the red on Wednesday, extending losses from earlier in the week that were driven by heightened US-China trade hostilities.
US manufacturing, a sector hard-hit by the trade war, fell sharply in April, while retail sales that month were also unexpectedly weak, government data showed, setting the US second quarter off to a somber start.
Meanwhile, China likewise reported a batch of worrying numbers, with April retail sales there falling to a 16-year low.
About 15 minutes into the trading day, the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen 0.6 percent to 25,372.18 while the S&P 500 was 0.5 percent lower at 2,821.60
The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 0.4 percent to 7,710.29.
The declines reversed Tuesday’s partial rebound from Monday’s sell-off, which had been prompted by China’s decision to retaliate by increasing duty rates on US imports after President Donald Trump decided to do likewise last week.
“Today, we have headlines that are a poke in the eye,” analyst Patrick O’Hare wrote at Briefing.com, though he added that investors might take weaker data as a sign of hope that central banks may approve more economic stimulus measures.
Retail chain Macy’s was down 0.1 percent despite reporting better-than-expected earnings. —AFP