U.S. Stocks End Lower; S&P, Nasdaq See Lowest Close In a Month

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stocks closed on Thursday at their lowest levels in a month, but well off their lows from earlier in the session, as weak China data and minutes from the Federal Reserve's September meeting drove investors out of equities. The S&P 500 index shed 6.63 points, or 0.3%, to 2,132.55. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 45.26 points, or 0.3%, to 18,098.94, its lowest close since Sept. 26. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 25.69 points, or 0.5%, to 5,213.33. Financial shares were the session's biggest losers, as investors trimmed their holdings ahead of earnings reports from Citigroup Inc. ., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo on Friday. For both the S&P and the Nasdaq, it was the lowest close since Sept. 14.

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