US stocks close down on global growth worries, weak home sales

Major U.S. stock indexes closed lower Tuesday, snapping a four-day winning streak, amid worries about global economic growth and disappointing U.S. home sales.

International and domestic concerns weighed on sentiment. The IMF predicted the global economy would grow at 3.5 percent in 2019 and 3.6 percent in 2020, down 0.2 and 0.1 percentage point, respectively, from last October's forecasts.

U.S. home sales tumbled to their lowest level in three years last month and house price increases slowed sharply, suggesting a further loss of momentum in the housing market.

The National Association of Realtors said on Tuesday existing home sales declined 6.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.99 million units last month -- the lowest level since November 2015. November's sales pace was revised slightly up to 5.33 million unit from the previously reported 5.32 million units.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 34239.38 -201.50 -0.59%
SP500 S&P 500 4369.02 -33.18 -0.75%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 13350.524823 -118.60 -0.88%

Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday forecast 2019 sales that fell short of analysts' estimates after reporting better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and revenue.

The company said it expects 2019 sales in the range of $80.4 billion to $81.2 billion, compared with the average analyst estimate of $82.69 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Arconic shares slumped after the aluminum products maker said it was no longer pursuing a sale.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
JNJ JOHNSON & JOHNSON 162.16 -0.77 -0.47%
ARNC ARCONIC CORP. 30.02 +0.03 +0.10%

Investors also digested troubling economic news from China, which reported that its 2018 growth slowed to the lowest in nearly three decades. The economy cooled in the fourth quarter under pressure from lower domestic demand and the U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.

Fourth-quarter gross domestic product grew at the slowest pace since the global financial crisis, easing to 6.4 percent on-year as expected from 6.5 percent in the third quarter, China's National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday. That pulled full-year growth down to 6.6 percent, the slowest annual pace since 1990.

In Asian markets on Tuesday, China’s Shanghai Composite ended the day 1.2 percent lower.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended the session down 0.7 percent.


Japan’s Nikkei closed down 0.5 percent on the day.

In Europe, London’s FTSE traded lower by 1 percent, Germany’s DAX slipped 0.7 percent and France’s CAC was off 0.7 percent.

Markets were closed Monday for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday.

FOX Business' Ken Martin contributed to this report.