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Stocks Taper Off; Dow Drops Triple Digits

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - U.S. stock losses accelerated into Tuesday's closing bell following a jarring and jerky trading session, as investors struggled to get a feel for global growth prospects after ISM manufacturing reading for May beat estimates but Chinese manufacturing activity during the same month fell short of expectations.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which traded in both positive and negative territory today, finished 113 points lower, or 1.1%, to 10,024. The S&P 500 lost 19 points, or 1.7%, to 1071 and the Nasdaq tumbled 35 points, or 1.5%, at 2222.

U.S. stocks trailed early in the morning after sluggish economic news from China and Europe, but turned higher after domestic economic data showed better-than-expected results in construction and in the factory realm. But stocks continued trading in a volatile fashion for the entire day, just before a steep sell-off heading into the closing bell.

"I think there is concern over how Europe and Asia is going to react," said Marc Pado, U.S. market strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald. "If you look at the euro, the market is very concerned about the relationship between the euro and the dollar"

"But even when you got these little blips up today, if you look at the groups that led the [earlier] rally, one of the things that sticks out is that these were very defensive groups," he added, citing food as one such sector, while materials and energy weighed on the major averages. "We're succumbing at end of day with the realization that we'll wake up tomorrow with Asia and Europe down in the morning. Whether they recover in the afternoon or not, you know what you're waking up to in the market. They see our market sell-off, and start selling. It's a vicious circle."

"We haven't found a catalyst, but we just can't seem to focus on the domestic issues when overall the concern is on the international market," Pado concluded. "We just could not get a footing even on positive economic news. No one expects Europe to get better tomorrow, but we're just waiting for the it to get less worse."

Overseas, Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 1.4%, and Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.6%. The FTSE in London was lost 0.5%, and the DAX in Frankfurt rose 0.3%.

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