Dow drops 140 amid China-inspired growth fears – USA TODAY

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U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday, following weak manufacturing data from China. This fanned fears of more trouble ahead for the world’s second largest economy. Newslook

U.S. stocks plunged Tuesday after a private gauge of Chinese manufacturing edged lower, reviving growth fears around the globe.

While stocks kicked off the first trading day of May in bullish fashion Monday, with the Dow gaining 118 points, the blue chip stock gauge reversed course and gave back all of those gains.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 140 points, or 0.8%, after earlier being down roughly 200 points. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index finished 0.9% lower and the Nasdaq composite lost 1.1%.

Earlier in the session, the Caixin purchasing managers index for April showed China’s manufacturing gauge falling to 49.4, down from 49.7 in March. Any reading under 50 signals contraction.

Economic growth, or the lack of it, continues to hamper financial markets. U.S. gross domestic product, for example, clocked in at a weak 0.5%, in the initial read for the first-quarter ending in March. And talk of a U.S. economy in so-called stall speed, coupled with contracting corporate earnings and continued uncertainty over central bank policy moves around the world, has held U.S. stocks back recently.

Earlier Tuesday, the central bank of Australia surprised investors by trimming its key interest rate to a record low 1.75%. It was the first rate cut in about a year, and the move is intended to combat weak inflation, a common problem around the globe.

In stock specific news, iPhone maker Apple (APPL) was hoping to break an eight session losing streak, its longest since 1998. Apple shares are down 11% so far in 2016 and have tumbled nearly 13% in its eight-session slide. In early trading, Apple shares jumped 1.9% to $95.41.

On the earnings front, drugmaker Pfizer (PFE)topped quarterly earnings forecasts by 12 cents. Its shares were up sharply, rallying 3.2%.

Overseas, stocks were mixed. In Europe, stocks fell but were off their lows. The broad Stoxx Europe 600 index were off 1.7%, while Germany’s DAX was down 1.9% and the CAC 40 in France was off 1.6%.

In Asia, Japan’s market was closed. But stocks rose 1.9% in Shanghai and stocks in Australia rose 2.1% after its central bank cut rates.

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