Stocks Fall on Economic Growth Concerns
The U.S. stock market pulled back on Thursday as growth concerns emanating out of both China and Europe weighed on risk appetite. Data indicated that the Chinese manufacturing sector contracted for the fifth straight month and Germany and France both reported sharp declines in manufacturing. In the UK, retail sales fell more than expected. In light of the gloomy data, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 78 points and closed at 13,046. The widely watched blue-chip average traded iCn a range between 13,017 and 13,124.
The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) registered a decline of 0.72% to $139.20. Despite the concern over the global economy, volume in the heavily traded ETF was below average with 130 million SPY shares trading hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 140 million.
The PowerShares QQQ Trust ETF (NASDAQ: QQQ), which tracks the performance of the Nasdaq 100, fell 0.21% to $66.98. Year-to-date, the QQQ is up nearly 20%, in large part on the strength of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL).
Crude oil pulled back on the session as the U.S. Dollar rose and traders curbed risk appetite. NYMEX crude futures, the U.S. benchmark, lost 1.72% to $105.43 while ICE Brent futures fell 0.90% to $123.08. The United States Oil Fund ETF (NYSE: USO) fell 1.28% and closed at $40.14.
Precious metals also were lower on the day amid negative sentiment. COMEX gold futures lost 0.42% to $1,643.30 while silver futures fell 2.35% to $31.47. The heavily traded SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSE: GLD) declined 0.42% to close at $159.54.
Treasuries were higher as investors preferred the safety of U.S. debt versus riskier alternatives. The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE: TLT) added 0.31% to $112.15. The yield on the 10-Year Note fell 1.3 basis points to 2.28%.
The U.S. Dollar was moderately higher on the session. Dollar Index futures added 0.09%. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE: UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, gained 0.14% to $22.14. The closely watched EUR/USD pair is currently trading at $1.3183.
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