Data Jitters, Hong Kong Unrest Push Stocks Lower
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In another volatile day for Wall Street, stocks recovered some of their losses but remained solidly in the red Monday as global worries and questions over interest rates lingered into the new week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 41.9 points, or 0.2%, to 17071, the S&P 500 dropped 5.05 points, or 0.2%, to 1977, and the Nasdaq Composite slipped 6.34 points, or 0.1%, to 4505.
Monday’s early losses come on the heels of an upswing on Friday, while European markets kicked off the week in negative territory.
All three major U.S. indices are coming off weekly losses. The Dow booked triple-digit moves each day last week as concerns over global growth and continued turmoil in the Middle East were reignited. Geopolitical jitters were heightened over the weekend due to growing unrest in Hong Kong.
Traders also remain focused on the Federal Reserve and its timeline for raising interest rates. The move is expected sometime in 2015, but upbeat economic signals could spur the central bank to hike rates sooner.
The Commerce Department on Monday said consumer spending increased 0.5% in August compared to July. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters were looking for a 0.4% gain. Personal income, meanwhile, ticked 0.3% higher in August, matching forecasts.
Stocks pared some of their losses after the National Association of Realtors published its index for pending home sales, which fell 1% in August. That’s much steeper than the 0.1% decline projected by economists.
The Dallas Federal Reserve’s manufacturing survey for September checked in at 10.8, up from 6.8 a month earlier. Estimates called for a reading of 10.5.
On the corporate front, shares of DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA) soared 26% on reports that Japan’s SoftBank, the parent company of Sprint (NYSE:S), is discussing a deal to acquire or form a partnership with the studio.
Camera maker GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO) continued its rally with a 10.8% gain after announcing the entry-level GoPro Here, which will sell for $130. The stock has more than tripled since GoPro’s market debut in June.
Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) quickly lost steam heading into the close, tumbling 7.5%. At the automaker’s investor day, executives said 2014 pre-tax profits will miss Ford’s projections by approximately $1.5 billion. They also lowered expectations for European results in 2015.
In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil settled $1.03 higher, or 1.1%, at $94.57 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose about three cents to $2.69 a gallon.