Politics
ALB

US STOCKS-Weak economic data, healthcare shares pull Wall St lower

(For a live blog on the U.S. stock market, click LIVE/ ortype LIVE/ in a news window.)

* U.S.-made capital goods orders unexpectedly fall in Dec

* U.S., China sketch outlines of deal to end trade war

* Indexes down: Dow 0.41 pct, S&P 0.38 pct, Nasdaq 0.43 pct (Adds comments, details, updates prices)

By Shreyashi Sanyal

Feb 21 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Thursday, following arecent run of gains, pressured by weak economic data and a dropin healthcare shares, while investors kept a close watch onU.S.-China trade talks.

The Commerce Department said new orders for key U.S.-madecapital goods unexpectedly fell in December, pointing to afurther slowdown in business spending on equipment that couldcrimp economic growth. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N20E153

Another set showed the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's gaugeon U.S. Mid-Atlantic business activity declined in February toits weakest level since May 2016. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N20G0P9

The weak numbers threatened to snap the S&P 500's three-daygain, which was driven by signs of progress in trade talks. Theindex continues to hover near its two-month high.

The United States and China have started to outlinecommitments in principle on the stickiest issues in their tradedispute, marking the most significant progress yet toward endinga seven-month trade war, sources told Reuters onThursday. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N20G39D

"The data confirms some of the slowdown that we've seen fromlate last year. It confirms companies are still leery to go outand invest because of the trade discussions," Ryan Detrick,senior market strategist, LPL Financial.

"But the big picture is we've got an enormous rally thisyear. Markets seem to almost be willing to bypass the weak datathat we've seen for the optimism over a resolution on trade."

At 11:27 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was down 106.28 points, or 0.41 percent, at 25,848.16. The S&P500 .SPX was down 10.62 points, or 0.38 percent, at 2,774.08and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 32.16 points, or 0.43percent, at 7,456.91.

Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, led by a 0.85percent decline in energy index .SPNY after oil prices easedfrom their highs. O/R

Dragging the markets lower was a 0.86 percent decline in thehealthcare sector, weighed down by Johnson & JohnsonJNJ.N ,which fell 1.1 percent.

The healthcare company said it received subpoenas from U.S.regulators related to litigation involving alleged asbestoscontamination in its signature Baby Powder productline. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N20G06H

Biogen IncBIIB.O shares fell 3.7 percent after brokerageStifel downgraded the stock to "hold" from "buy". The NasdaqBiotech index .NBI was down 1.57 percent. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N20G4HN

Nike IncNKE.N shares dropped 1.7 percent after thecompany's sneaker worn by emerging basketball star ZionWilliamson split in half during a game between Duke Universityand North Carolina. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL5N20G5K2

The sportswear maker's shares weighed the most on theconsumer discretionary sector .SPLRCD , which slipped 0.32percent

Among gainers, Albermarle's shares ALB.N jumped 6.2percent after the lithium producer posted a higher-than-expectedquarterly profit and gave a bullish 2019 outlook. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N20F1U8

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.97-to-1 ratioon the NYSE and for a 1.60-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 25 new 52-week highs and no new lows,while the Nasdaq recorded 37 new highs and nine new lows. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru;Editing by Anil D'Silva) ((Shreyashi.Sanyal@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 8780 ;Reuters Messaging:Shreyashi.Sanyal.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

In This Story

ALB

Other Topics

Stocks World Markets US Markets

Reuters

Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest international multimedia news provider reaching more than one billion people every day. Reuters provides trusted business, financial, national, and international news to professionals via Thomson Reuters desktops, the world's media organizations, and directly to consumers at Reuters.com and via Reuters TV.

Learn More