Wall Street tumbles on global growth worries, J&J decline
By Sinéad Carew (Reuters) - Wall Street's three major indexes tumbled on Friday and the Dow confirmed a correction as weak data from China and Europe stoked fears of a global economic slowdown, while Johnson & Johnson shares were the biggest drag after Reuters reported the company knew for decades that its Baby Powder contained asbestos. The S&P 600 small cap index confirmed it was in a bear market after closing 20.05 percent below its Aug. 31 peak, falling 1.6 percent on the day.
By Sinéad Carew
(Reuters) - Wall Street's three major indexes tumbled on Friday and the Dow confirmed a correction as weak data from China and Europe stoked fears of a global economic slowdown, while Johnson & Johnson shares were the biggest drag after Reuters reported the company knew for decades that its Baby Powder contained asbestos.
The S&P 600 <.SPCY> small cap index confirmed it was in a bear market after closing 20.05 percent below its Aug. 31 peak, falling 1.6 percent on the day.
The Johnson & Johnson
Investors focused on global growth concerns and worried about U.S. growth after China reported weak monthly retail sales growth and industrial output numbers, as disappointing economic data was released from the euro zone.
"Weakness showing through in the Chinese economy in terms of the numbers that were reported as a result of the ongoing trade war was certainly a concern that bleeds into global growth concerns," said Ryan Larson, head of U.S. equity trading at RBC Global Asset Management in Chicago.
Larson also pointed to concerns about a Reuters poll of economists which found the risk of a U.S. recession in the next two years rose to 40 percent and found a significant shift in expectations toward fewer 2019 Federal Reserve interest rate rises.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 496.87 points, or 2.02 percent, to 24,100.51, 10 percent below its Oct. 3 closing high.
The S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 50.59 points, or 1.91 percent, to 2,599.95, 11.3 percent lower than its Sept. 20 record close, marking the poorest performance for the benchmark since it fell more than 14 percent between May 2015 and January 2016.
And with Friday's close the losses inflicted by the correction are deeper than the declines suffered earlier this year.
The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 159.67 points, or 2.26 percent, to 6,910.67.
Johnson & Johnson helped pull down the S&P healthcare index <.SPXHC> 3.4 percent, making it the biggest percentage decliner among the S&P's 11 major sectors. The technology index <.SPLRCT>, which includes a number of companies with global operations, especially China, dropped 2.5 percent.
The energy index <.SPNY> fell 2.4 percent.
Strong U.S. retail sales data appeared to have little impact on markets, with the S&P retail sector <.SPXRT> falling 2.4 percent.
"Solid fundamental data that gets to the core of the U.S. economy is overshadowed by the potential for a global slowdown washing up on our shores," said Phil Blancato, chief executive of Ladenburg Thalmann Asset Management in New York but he said the sell off was buying opportunity.
The market struggled all week with choppy trading, on concerns ranging from U.S.-China trade talks, interest rates and a flattening U.S. Treasury yield curve and the shape of Brexit.
For the week, the S&P fell 1.25 percent and the Dow lost 1.2 percent while the Nasdaq shed 0.84 percent.
Investors appeared to shrug off Beijing's announcement it would suspend additional tariffs on U.S.-made vehicles and auto parts for three months starting Jan. 1.
Costco Wholesale Corp
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 3.61-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 3.17-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.
The S&P 500 posted nine new 52-week highs and 85 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded six new highs and 425 new lows.
On U.S. exchanges 7.89 billion shares changed hands compared with the 7.97 billion-share average for the last 20 sessions.
(Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak in New York, Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Jonathan Oatis)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey on Tuesday dismissed a report by the European Commission as "biased, far from constructive", saying Ankara rejected the criticisms directed at its economy, democracy and courts, and remained committed to the EU membership process. Earlier, the European Commission accused President Tayyip Erdogan's government of undermining Turkey's economy, eroding its democracy and destroying independent courts, and said this record left Ankara further away than ever from EU membership. In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said sections of the report on tensions in the eastern Mediterranean smeared the Commission's objectivity, adding that Ankara was acting in line with democratic norms and international laws
By Olga Dzyubenko and Vladimir Pirogov BISHKEK (Reuters) - Opposition groups took control of most of Kyrgyzstan's government apparatus on Tuesday after storming buildings during post-election protests, but the president clung to power as unrest risked tipping the Central Asian state into chaos. Protests spread throughout the country, where two presidents have been overthrown in the past 15 years, halting some foreign gold mining operations and prompting an expression of concern from Russia, a longtime ally.
LONDON (Reuters) - Rich countries could be back to close to normal by late 2021 if a COVID-19 vaccine works, is ready soon and distributed properly at scale, billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates said on Tuesday. "By late next year you can have things going back pretty close to normal - that's the best case," Gates, 64, told The Wall Street Journal CEO Council. "We still don't know whether these vaccines will succeed," Gates said.