NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. markets sank on the first trading day of 2014 amid signs of slowing manufacturing in China and as investors accepted the likelihood that the next 12 months won't match 2013, a year in which the Standard & Poor's 500 Index (^GSPC) soared 29.6%, the most since 1997.
- The S&P 500 lost 0.89% to 1,831.98, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.82% to 16,441.35. The Nasdaq was off 0.8% to 4,143.07.
- S&P Winner & Loser: First Solar (FSLR) was the top performer in the index as the solar sector on the whole gained intraday. Shares popped 5.1% to $57.44. Pioneer Natural (PXD) was the worst percentage performer on the S&P, falling 4.1% to $176.53.
- China's manufacturing momentum appears to be slowing after the HSBC/Markit Purchasing Managers' Index fell to a three-month low of 50.5 last month. Earlier, the government's manufacturing report showed a decline to a four-month low of 51. The Shanghai Composite index was down 0.31% after the manufacturing reports.
- The Institute for Supply Management's Manufacturing Index for December slipped to 57.0 from 57.3 in November, in line with expectations - but suggested the economy maintained momentum heading into the new year. U.S. construction spending was at its highest level in nearly five years in November due to a jump in private construction projects - with construction spending increasing 1% to an annual rate of $934.4 billion.
- Factory output in the euro zone expanded at the fastest pace last month since May 2011. German production grew for a sixth month while Italy's manufacturing result was above estimates.
- Weekly US initial jobless claims for the week of Dec. 28 fell 2,000 to 339,000. The effect of seasonal factors on this report has made it less significant this week.
- Apple (AAPL - Get Report) fell 1.4% to $553.13 after being downgraded at Wells Fargo to market perform from outperform. Chipmaker Xilinx (XLNX) gained 0.37% to $46.10 after being raised to buy from neutral by Goldman Sachs - with the broker downgrading Analog Devices (ADI) to a sell, causing its shares to drop 3.2% to $49.28.
- Italian automaker Fiat has reached a deal with the United Auto Workers union trust fund to buy the remaining shares of Chrysler for $3.65 billion.
- Germany's DAX closed 1.59% lower while London's FTSE closed down 0.46%.