Wall Street falls with Apple, lingering global growth fears

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks slipped on Monday, extending the previous session’s sell-off, hit by worries of a slowdown in global economic growth and as Apple shares fell.

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 22, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

But trading was choppy, with stocks moving back and forth between negative and positive territory during the session.

Apple Inc shares dropped 1.8 percent and were the biggest drag on indexes as the iPhone maker unveiled its long-awaited video streaming service.

Weak factory data from the United States, Europe and Japan on Friday led to the inversion of U.S. Treasury yield curve for the first time since 2007, adding to fears of a global economic downturn.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields fell to their lowest levels since December 2017, while the yield curve between three-month bills and 10-year notes inverted further as investors evaluated last week’s dovish pivot by the Federal Reserve.

The Fed also flagged an expected slowdown in the economy last week and decided against raising interest rates this year.

Friday’s bearish tone has spilled into Monday’s session, said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago.

“The global economy just does not look fabulous. There’s definitely a slowing around the world. That being said, it could be argued that, over the last 10 years certainly, the first quarter has historically been weak, so that potential still exists.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 25.14 points, or 0.1 percent, to 25,477.18, the S&P 500 lost 4.93 points, or 0.18 percent, to 2,795.78 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 18.23 points, or 0.24 percent, to 7,624.44.

In a bright spot, the consumer discretionary sector rose 0.5 percent, supported by gains in Home Depot Inc and Inc.

Investors largely shrugged off Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report that President Donald Trump’s campaign did not collude with Russia.

The report left unresolved the issue of whether Trump obstructed justice by undermining the investigations that have dogged his presidency.

Top U.S. officials travel to Beijing for the latest round of high-level talks, which are scheduled to start on March 28.

Boeing Co rose 1.5 percent after the planemaker said it would brief pilots and regulators this week on software and training updates for its 737 MAX aircraft, with Ethiopian Airlines and Qatar Airways expressing confidence in the company despite a recent fatal crash.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.06-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.01-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 7 new 52-week highs and 6 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 21 new highs and 93 new lows.

Additional reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Anil D’Silva

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