FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here
Wall Street drifted lower on Monday. However, the Nasdaq posted heavy losses as several big tech companies and a handful of biotech firms tumbled.
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According to preliminary calculations, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 25.9 points, or 0.16%, to 16276, the S&P 500 declined 9.1 points, or 0.49%, to 1857 and the Nasdaq Composite sold off by 50.4 points, or 1.2%, to 4226.
The markets capped a turbulent trading week to the upside last week, with the broad S&P 500 advancing 1.4%. The pace was expected to slow on Monday, with few major U.S. economic events on the calendar.
Several big-name technology players came under pressure on the day, knocking the Nasdaq down sharply. Among the names were Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO). Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Biotech index extended its slide and fell into its steepest two-day slump since 2011.
Traders were greeted with a report from HSBC showing China's vast manufacturing sector contracted more quickly in March than it did in February. The PMI gauge dipped to 48.1 from 48.5, confounding expectations of a rise to 48.7.
"Weakness is broadly based with domestic demand softening further. We expect Beijing to launch a series of policy measures to stabilize growth," Hongbin Qu, HSBC's chief China economist wrote in a note to clients.
Economists at Barclays added that "we now see downside risks to our growth forecasts."
In corporate news, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is reportedly considering teaming up with Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) to make set-top boxes. Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) plans on nominating a group of three directors picked by activist investor Carl Icahn. Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) said it would invest $1 billion over the next two years in creating the world's biggest network of clouds in a bid to continue pressing on with its Internet of Everything mantra.
Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures climbed 40 cents, or 0.4%, to $99.86 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose 0.46% to $2.921 a gallon. Gold dipped $11.20, or 0.84%, to $1,325 a troy ounce.