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Wall Street loses ground on growth fears, oil slide


United States stocks fell on Tuesday after weak economic data in China and Europe reignited worries about global growth, while oil prices dropped for a second day, dragging down energy shares.

Bucking the day’s trend, Apple rose 1.6 percent to USD 95.18, breaking an eight-session streak of losses. Activity in China’s factories shrank for the 14th straight month in April as demand stagnated, a private survey showed.

Britain’s manufacturing output also unexpectedly shrank last month to its lowest level in three years. US oil prices CLc1 settled down 2.5 percent as rising output from the Middle East renewed concerns about global oversupply.

The S&P energy index, down 2.2 percent, led declines in the benchmark index. Still, the recent recovery in oil prices, along with a softer dollar, have helped the S&P 500 rebound from a steep selloff earlier this year.

The benchmark index is now up about 1 percent for the year so far. “We had a nice rally yesterday, and in essence we’re peeling that back today. The market is stuck in a trading range that is at the intersection of full valuations in US equities and news that has not been necessarily overwhelming positive,” said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia.

Shares of US automakers were mostly lower as stronger-than-expected sales for April were not enough to offset worries that the industry’s recovery is running out of steam.

Shares of Ford fell 1.4 percent to USD 13.43. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 140.25 points, or 0.78 percent, to 17,750.91, the S&P 500 lost 18.06 points, or 0.87 percent, to 2,063.37 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 54.37 points, or 1.13 percent, to 4,763.22.

The biggest economic release on the agenda this week is monthly US payrolls, due on Friday. Last week, US data showed tepid growth in first-quarter gross domestic product and a softening in the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation.

Besides Apple, some healthcare companies were a bright spot, with Pfizer up 2.7 percent at USD 33.70 after reporting a rise in quarterly revenue and raising its forecasts for the year. Shares of drugmaker Mallinckrodt Plc were up 6.8 percent at USD 64.84 following its results, while Mylan was up 2.3 percent at USD 43.69, also after results.

About 7.8 billion shares changed hands on US exchanges, compared with the 7.1 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,286 to 741, for a 3.09-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 2,083 issues fell and 738 advanced for a 2.82-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.

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