Markets Hustle: Stocks Drop as Signs of Slowing Growth

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. markets traded lower Monday as investors sold shares on signs of economic softness while digesting mixed growth signals from China.

  • The S&P 500 fell 0.25% to 1,826.77, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 0.27% to 16,425.10. The Nasdaq closed 0.44% lower at 4,113.68.

  • The Institute for Supply Management's December services sector report fell to 53 from 53.9 in the prior month, a report showed today. Expectations had been for a result of around 54.7. On the flipside, U.S. factory orders rose 1.8% in November, narrowly topping estimates for around 1.7%. 

  • JP Morgan (JPM) is expected to announce this week that it will pay more than $2 billion for its alleged failure to warn over the Madoff fraud scheme. This would bring the bank's penalties to $20 billion to settle investigations over the past year. It's shares were rising 0.60% on Monday. Twitter (TWTR) shares fell 3.9% to $66.33 after Morgan Stanley said investors should sell following the stock's rally.

  • S&P Winner & Loser: First Solar (FSLR) was the worst performing stock in the S&P 500, falling 9.7% to $51.26 after being cut to a 'sell' by Goldman Sachs. Facebook  (FB) was the top percentage gainer in the index, climbing 4.8% to $57.20.

  • The Senate is expected to confirm Janet Yellen's appointment as Federal Reserve chair at around 5:30 p.m. on Monday.

  • HSBC/ Markit Economics' purchasing managers' index for services industries in China showed a drop to 50.9 in December, its lowest level since August 2011. Slowing manufacturing activity in China were indicated in reports last week.

  • The upturn in the eurozone private sector economy gained momentum in December, according to Markit.

  • Germany's DAX was off 0.08% while the FTSE was largely flat. The Nikkei closed down 2.35% - it's largest drop in over two months - as investors took profits on large caps stocks and a stronger currency hurt exporters. The Hang Seng finished 0.58% lower.

  • Minutes of the December Fed meeting will be released on Wednesday. November international trade numbers will be released on Tuesday.

-- By Jane Searle and Joe Deaux in New York

 

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