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Dow falls 100 points amid signs of a sluggish economic recovery in China

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  • US stocks edged lower on Friday following signs that China's economic recovery may be more fragile than hoped.
  • China's government did not set an annual economic target for the nation for the first time in decades because of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Oil prices slumped as much as 9% amid broader risk-off sentiment.
  • Tensions between the US and China flared again after Beijing said it would impose new national-security legislation for Hong Kong.
  • Read more on Business Insider.

US stocks edged lower on Friday as investors weighed signs that China's economic recovery may not be as strong as hoped.

China's government pulled its annual target for economic growth for the first time in decades because of uncertainty from the coronavirus pandemic.

Renewed tensions between Washington and Beijing also affected sentiment. China proposed new security legislation for Hong Kong that could threaten the financial hub and cause further issues with the US. On Thursday, President Donald Trump said the US would react strongly if China were to enact the legislation.

Here's where US indexes stood at 1:50 p.m. ET on Friday:

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Oil prices slumped, snapping a six-day winning streak. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell as much as 9.4%, to $30.72 per barrel, before paring those losses to 3% at 9:35 a.m. ET in New York. Brent crude fell 7%, to $33.54 per barrel, at intraday lows.

"Although investors have been willing to look past the gloomy economic data so far, in the hope that the worst of the global pandemic has passed, such a view might be shattered if the barbs traded between the world's two largest economies actually translate into actual policy action," Han Tan, a market analyst at FXTM, told Business Insider.

Earnings season continued as well. Shares of the tractor-maker Deere & Company rose after the company released better-than-expected earnings results. Hewlett Packard fell after the tech giant reported an $821 million loss.

The drugmaker Moderna climbed roughly 5% after Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top White House health adviser, said he was "cautiously optimistic" about recent data from a trial of the company's COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Dr. Fauci also said that now is the time to reopen the US economy, albeit with significant social-distancing precautions. All 50 states have eased at least some coronavirus-lockdown restrictions ahead of a long weekend. 

Read more: RBC handpicks 8 tech stocks that could continue to grow revenues during the crisis and are built like 'rocket ships' for the next boom

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* This article was originally published here Press Release Distribution

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