U.S. equities finished solidly lower, as investor uneasiness surrounding global growth concerns on the heels of another dose of disappointing German data and tempered economic forecasts in Europe were exacerbated by increased trade anxiety following comments from National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow that a “sizable distance” remains between U.S./China trade negotiations. Earnings were also in focus, with reports from Twitter and Tapestry disappointing the Street, while Chipotle Mexican Grill rallied on its release. A $66 billion merger of equals between BB&T and SunTrust also garnered attention. In economic news, jobless claims pulled back from last week’s jump and consumer credit was mostly in line with expectations. Treasury yields were lower, as were crude oil prices, while gold and the U.S. dollar were higher.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell 221 points (0.9%) to 25,170, the S&P 500 Index declined 26 points (0.9%) to 2,706, and the NASDAQ Composite tumbled 87 points (1.2%) to 7,288. In heavy volume, 946 million shares were traded on the NYSE and 2.2 billion shares changed hands on the NASDAQ. WTI crude oil lost $1.37 to $52.64 per barrel and wholesale gasoline shed $0.03 to $1.43 per gallon. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price increased $3.43 to $1,310.03 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—was 0.1% higher at 96.50.
Weekly initial jobless claims fell by 19,000 to 234,000, versus the Bloomberg expectation calling for a drop to 221,000, with the prior week’s figure being unrevised at 253,000. The data recently likely has been impacted by the government shutdown and the four-week moving average rose by 4,500 to 224,750, while continuing claims dropped 42,000 to 1,736,000, north of estimates of 1,733,000.
Treasuries were higher, as the yields on the 2-year and 10-year notes, as well as the 30-year bond declined 4 bps to 2.49%, 2.65% and 3.00%, respectively.
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