U.S. Stocks Down Firmly In Negative Territory, Look Headed For Weak Close

U.S. stocks remain firmly down in negative territory Tuesday afternoon, struggling to find support after a weak start and a subsequent fall to lower levels.

Worries about the health of the Chinese economy, and concerns that the Federal Reserve will hold interest rates higher for a longer time to contain inflation weigh on sentiment.

A warning from Fitch that it may have to downgrade credit ratings of several banks, including JP Morgan, is hurting as well.

Data showing a surge in retail sales in the month of July have raised the possibility of the central bank continuing with its policy tightening next month.

The major averages are all firmly down in the red. The Dow is down 279.82 points or 0.79 percent 35,027.81. The S&P 500 is down 37.69 points or 0.84 percent at 4,452.02, while the Nasdaq is down with a loss of 99.56 points or 0.71 percent at 13,688.77.

Caterpillar, American Express, JP Morgan and Chevron are down 2 to 2.5 percent.

3M, Travelers Companies, Goldman Sachs, Boeing, Walt Disney, Salesforce.com, Intel, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Cisco Systems and Nike are lower by 1 to 1.7 percent.

Meta Platforms is declining 1.1 percent, and Alphabet is lower by about 0.8 percent.

Amgen is gaining about 2 percent. Home Depot and J&J are modestly higher.

Data from the Commerce Department showed retail sales in the U.S. increased 0.7 percent month-over-month in July, rising for the fourth consecutive month. Retail sales rose 0.3 percent in June.

Data from the Labor Department showed export prices in the U.S. surged 0.7 percent month-over-month in July after a downwardly revised 0.7 percent fall in June. On a yearly basis, export prices dropped 7.9 percent, following an 11.9 percent decline in June.

Import prices rose 0.4 percent in July, following a downwardly revised 0.1 percent drop in June. Year-on-year, import prices were down 4.4 percent compared to 6.1 percent plunge in June.

In overseas trading, Asian stocks ended on a mixed note on Tuesday after a slew of Chinese economic data missed expectations and the country’s central bank cut a key interest rate in an effort to boost flagging growth.

European stocks closed notably lower on Tuesday amid rising concerns over the health of the world’s second largest economy, and uncertainty about the outlook for interest rates. Higher bond yields hurt as well.

China’s consumption and investment cooled further in July, and factory production growth also decelerated.

Meanwhile, China’s central bank unexpectedly cut key policy rates for the second time in three months in its efforts to boost economic recovery.

The pan European Stoxx 600 ended down 0.93 percent. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 dropped 1.57 percent, Germany’s DAX drifted down 0.86 percent, and France’s CAC 40 fell 1.1 percent.

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