Economic data out of China shows the rising giant’s manufacturing sector slowed for the fourth-straight month in April, sending U.S. stocks into the red. The Dow is down 120 points, or 0.73%, while the broader S&P 500 is down 0.69%. Financials are taking the biggest hit, followed by the health-care sector.
As 9:32 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 75 points to 16437, while the S&P 500 shed 5.86 points to 1875. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite fell 12.38 points to 4111.
HSBC’s purchasing-managers index was revised down to 48.1 in late April from an estimate of 48.3, wildly missing economists’ expectations of an increase to 48.4. The index shows the factory sector in the world’s second largest economy contracted for the fourth month in a row.
“Over the past few days, Beijing has introduced more reform measures which could support growth by inducing more private sector investment,” Hongbin Qu, HSBC’s chief economist for China wrote in the report. “We think bolder actions will be required to ensure the economy regains its momentum.”
In U.S. equity markets, Wall Street rebounded a bit after The Institute for Supply Management’s gauge of non-manufacturing activity showed slight growth to 55.2 in April, beating the expectations for a reading of 54.1, up from 53.1 in March.
Readings above 50 in the index suggest expansion, while those below 50 indicate contraction.
Pfizer (PFE) reported bottom-line results that topped estimates, but also released disappointing sales numbers. The American biotech giant is plotting to buy AstraZeneca (AZN) for at least $106 billion. Also in corporate news, Target’s (CEO) CEO Gregg Steinhafel abruptly resigned and will step down effective immediately. The retailer named CFO John Mulligan interim CEO as it launches a search for a new chief executive.
In commodities, U.S. crude oil futures rose 8 cents, or 0.09 percent to $99.85 a barrel, while Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline dipped 0.56 percent to $2.928 a gallon. Gold increased $8.90, or 0.68 percent to $1,312 a troy ounce.