US stocks end in red on global growth worries

03-05-2012, 14h40
NEW YORK (AFP)

US stocks fell Monday as worries about the slowing global economy after China lowered its growth estimate eclipsed positive numbers on the US services sector.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 14.76 points (0.11 percent) to finish at 12,962.81.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 5.30 points (0.39 percent) to 1,364.33, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite lost 25.71 points (0.86 percent) to 2,950.48.

Stocks pared losses in drifting trade, analysts said.

The markets were "shrugging off an upbeat read on US services sector activity, amid a flare-up in global economic concerns courtesy of China cutting its growth forecast to the lowest level since 2004 and a disappointing eurozone business activity report," Charles Schwab analysts said.

Markets were under pressure after China's premier, Wen Jiabao, announced the world's second-biggest economy was targeting growth of 7.5 percent in 2012, below the 8.0 percent-plus rate in recent years and the lowest target in eight years.

Dow member Alcoa was the blue-chip index's worst decliner, tumbling 3.6 percent to $9.87. Caterpillar skidded 2.1 percent to $110.09.

American International Group rose 2.0 percent. The bailed-out insurer plans to sell a chunk of its stake in Hong-Kong listed AIA to help repay its debt to the US government.

Citigroup fell 1.2 percent. After the market closed Friday, the bank said that board chairman Richard Parsons, who guided Citi through the 2008 financial crisis, would not seek reelection in April.

Apple shed 2.2 percent to $533.16 ahead of Apple's expected unveiling on Wednesday of the next generation of its iPad tablet computer.

Yahoo! dropped 0.7 percent to $14.62 after the Dow Jones website All Things Digital reported the struggling Internet giant is preparing "thousands" of job cuts.

Bond prices dipped. The yield on the 10-year Treasury edged up to 2.00 percent from 1.99 percent Friday, while the 30-year yield rose to 3.14 percent from 3.11 percent.

Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.


AFP