Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Business

January 24, 2014

Reports from China chills market

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks fell broadly Thursday after a report from China added to growing signs that the world’s second-largest economy is slowing. The selling spared few companies, even those reporting solid earnings.

“It’s pretty ugly,” said Randy Frederick, a managing director of active trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab. “When you’ve got a market that’s near record highs ... people are looking for any excuse to take profits.”

In the Standard and Poor’s 500 index, nine of 10 companies dropped.

Stocks fell from the start of trading after an HSBC survey of Chinese manufacturing fell to the lowest point since July and suggested that the country’s factory sector was shrinking. Earlier this week, China reported its slowest annual economic growth since 1999.

The Dow was down as much as 232 points before trimming its loss late in the day. It closed down 175.99 points, or 1.1 percent, at 16,197.35. The S&P 500 lost 16.40 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,828.46.

Fearful investors poured money into U.S. government debt securities, pushing the yield on the 10-year Treasury note down to 2.78 percent from 2.86 percent late Wednesday. That was the lowest since Nov. 29. Yields fall on bonds when their prices rise.

The price of gold, another safe-play asset, rose $23.70, or 1.9 percent, to $1,262.30 an ounce.

Worries about China also hammered emerging market currencies. The Argentine peso fell hard, and has now lost 16 percent of its value in two days, the fastest drop since the country’s economic collapse in 2002. The Turkish lira fell 1.3 percent and reached a record low against the dollar.

Several U.S. companies fell after reporting their latest quarterly results, including KeyCorp, Johnson Controls and Jacobs Engineering. All three either met or exceeded analyst expectations for earnings, but were each down at least 3 percent as investors sold the broad market.

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Poll

Goshen City Council member Dixie Robinson is asking residents to make an effort to clean up their yards this spring. The city’s Dial-A-Truck program is available to haul trash away. Do you think there are more unsightly properties in Goshen this year than five years ago?

Yes. I have noticed more problem properties
No. I have not noticed more problems
I think the problems are about the same as always
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