A weak Chinese manufacturing survey weighed on U.S. and European markets on Tuesday, renewing concerns that the world’s second-largest economy might be slowing down.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 193 points, or 1.1 percent, to 17,696 as of 10 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 24 points, or 1.2 percent, to 2,057 and the Nasdaq composite fell 63 points, or 1.3 percent, to 4,753.
CHINA WORRIES: The Caixin magazine’s purchasing managers’ index for the manufacturing sector declined to a reading of 49.4 points from March’s reading of 49.7. A number below 50 indicates that manufacturing is contracting. Worries about China were largely responsible for the turmoil in global financial markets in the early part of the year.
AUSTRALIA WORRIES: Compounding the worries about China, Australia’s central bank unexpectedly cut interest rates to a record low. Australia’s economy has been battered as commodity prices have plummeted and other parts of the developed world have slowed down. The news sent the Australian dollar down more than 2 percent.
PULLED DEPOSITS: The global economic worries hit two of the hardest-hit sectors this year: energy stocks and banks. Energy companies in the S&P 500 slumped 2.1 percent, the most in the index, and financial stocks were close behind with a drop of 1.9 percent.
BLUE PILL: Pfizer jumped 93 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $33.73 after the company reported solid first quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates. Pfizer saw big sales gains in some of its newest drugs, including Lyrica and vaccine Prevnar 13.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil lost 70 cents to $44.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 56 cents to $45.27 a barrel in London.
BONDS, CURRENCIES: U.S. government bond prices rose sharply. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.79 percent from 1.87 percent late Monday. The euro rose to $1.1548 from $1.1523. The dollar fell to 105.97 yen from 106.45 yen.
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