Downbeat manufacturing and consumer sentiment data set the major market averages back significantly on Friday and threatened the Dow Jones Industrial Average's ten-week winning streak. The blue chip index erased nearly all of a 200+ point gain at the open on the back of an 18-month low in the February purchasing manager's index and 26-month low in the ISM manufacturing indicator.
For the week, the Dow and S&P 500 were currently indicated to close lower while the Nasdaq was clinging to a modest gain, extending its winning streak to a 10th straight week.
US equities were gaining ground early in the day thanks to bullish Chinese manufacturing and German retail sales data. China's Shanghai market index rallied almost 2% on a much better-than-expected improvement in the Caixin manufacturing index to 49.9 from 48.3 the month prior.
The uptrade sputtered on the biggest decline in US consumer spending in more than 9 years before unraveling completely on the final February PMI (18-month low), February ISM (26-month low) and University of Michigan consumer sentiment index which remained at its lowest level since July 2017.
In addition to soft economic data, Wall Street was also struggling with significant technical resistance against the Dow at the December 2018 high of 26,000, a level which has not been convincingly breached in ten consecutive days.
European markets all closed higher for the day and the week with the exception of the UK's FTSE-100, which was lower for the week as the Brexit drama continues to weigh. German shares outperformed thanks to a 3.3% surge in retail sales beating the consensus estimate for a 1.9% gain and nearly reversing the 4.3% drop in sales the month prior.
In commodities, oil futures closed the week lower as a result of recent inventory data; gold was down for a third straight day and traded below $1,300 for the first time in two weeks; and copper surrendered early gains tied to bullish Chinese manufacturing data, trading lower for the day and the week in sympathy with soft US factory data.
Crude oil was down $1.02 to $56.20 per barrel. Natural gas was up $0.03 to $2.85 per 1 million BTU. Gold was down $12.60 to $1,303.40 an ounce, while silver was down $0.28 to $15.35 an ounce. Copper was down $0.008 to $2.94 per pound.
Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was down 2.09% to $11.70 with the United States Natural Gas Fund up 1.42% to $25.08. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF down 0.63% to 22.12 while SPDR Gold Shares were down 0.80% to $123.00. The iShares Silver Trust was down 1.71% to $14.38.
Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:
NYSE Composite Index was up 30.05 points (+0.24%) to 12,674.86
Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 2.04 points (+0.08%) to 25,918.04
S&P 500 was up 9.50 points (+0.34%) to 2,793.99
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 9.40 points (+0.12%) to 7,541.93
FTSE 100 was up 32.00 points (+0.45%) to 7,106.73
DAX was up 86.04 points (+0.75%) to 11,601.68
CAC 40 was up 24.66 points (+0.47%) to 5,265.19
Nikkei 225 was up 217.53 points (+1.02%) to 21,602.69
Hang Seng Index was up 178.99 points (+0.63%) to 28,812.17
Shanghai China Composite Index was up 53.05 points (+1.80%) to 2,994.00
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index was up 79.66 points (+0.75%) to 10,640.04
NYSE Financial Sector Index was up 2.13 points (+0.03%) to 7,772.22
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index was up 122.30 points (+0.77%) to 16,055.02
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