U.S. stocks dipped on soft Chinese data and Ukraine concerns

U.S. stocks dipped on Monday pulled down by Soft Chinese trade numbers and concerns over the ongoing Ukraine crisis.

Data released over the weekend indicated that Chinese exports dropped 18.1% on-year in February, in contrast to expectations for a 6.8% increase.

Also, a second report indicated that the annual rate of inflation in China slowed to 2.0% in February, from 2.5% in January.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry declined an invitation to visit Russia for further discussions on the Russia-Ukraine confrontation, which also pulled down U.S. stocks.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 34.04 points or 0.21%, to 16,418.68, the S&P 500 dropped 0.87 points or 0.05%, to 1,877.17 and the NASDAQ Composite dropped 1.775 points or 0.04%, to 4,334.448.

Facebook shares hit an intraday record of $72.15 following the raise of its price target by UBS to $90, from $72. Facebook shares closed up 3.2% at $72.03.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals rallied 7.1% to $180 after the company raised its profit and sales forecasts for the year.

Among top Dow Jones Industrial Average performers were Intel, up 0.86%, Chevron, up 0.66%, and UnitedHealth, up 0.63%.

Among the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s worst performers were Boeing, down 1.26%, IBM, down 0.68%, and Nike down 0.60%.

At the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 dropped 0.11%, France’s CAC 40 dropped 0.10%, while Germany’s DAX 30 dropped 0.91%. In the U.K., the FTSE 100 dropped 0.35%.

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