U.S. stocks dip on Chinese trade figures; Dow slides 0.21%


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Investing.com - Soft Chinese trade numbers and concerns the Ukraine crisis remains in a standoff that could escalate sent stock prices edging lower on Monday.

At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.21%, the S&P 500 index fell 0.05%, while the Nasdaq Composite index fell 0.04%.

Weak Chinese trade data sent stocks edging lower on Monday.

Data released over the weekend showed that Chinese exports fell 18.1% on-year in February, defying expectations for a 6.8% increase, following a rise of 10.6% in January.

A separate report showed that the annual rate of inflation in China slowed to 2.0% in February, from 2.5% in January.

The numbers confirmed market concerns that emerging markets are cooling which sent investors ditching stocks for safe-harbor asset venues.

Ongoing geopolitical tensions in Ukraine also helped push stocks south.

Russia remains at odds with the West on how to end the standoff in Ukraine, while U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry declined an invitation to visit Russia for further discussions.

Friday's better-than-expected February jobs report cushioned losses somewhat.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that the U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs in February, beating expectations for a 149,000 increase.

January's figure was revised up to 129,000 from 113,000.

Boeing shares took a hit after a 777-200 plane disappeared with 239 passengers during a Malaysia Airlines flight to Beijing on March 8.

On Friday, the company had said that "hairline cracks" had been found in the wings of roughly 40 787 Dreamliners currently in production.

McDonald's shares fell slightly after the company reported a larger-than-expected decline in comparable global sales at established restaurants in February.

Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Intel, up 0.86%, Chevron, up 0.66%, and UnitedHealth, up 0.63%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included Boeing, down 1.26%, IBM, down 0.68%, and Nike down 0.60%.

European indices, meanwhile, finished largely lower.

After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 0.11%, France's CAC 40 rose 0.10%, while Germany's DAX 30 fell 0.91%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 fell 0.35%.

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This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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