June 1st, 2010
09:00 PM ET

Stocks slump amid global economic concerns

A look at highlights from the day's business news:

Stocks end lower

Stocks slumped Tuesday, ending a choppy session lower as worries about the global economic outlook overshadowed better-than-expected readings on the U.S. economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 112 points, or 1.1 percent. The S&P 500 index lost 19 points, or 1.7 percent, and the Nasdaq composite retreated 35 points, or 1.5 percent.

The market retreated in early trading after a report showed slower manufacturing growth in China and the euro briefly fell to a fresh four-year low. Better-than-expected readings on U.S. construction and manufacturing helped turn the tide in the morning. But the market sold off again heading into the close.

Stocks tumbled last month, with the Dow's decline of 7.9 percent its worst May performance since 1940. All financial markets were closed Monday for Memorial Day.

Dollar mixed after reports

The dollar was mixed against other major foreign currencies Tuesday, as investors welcomed better-than-expected U.S. manufacturing and construction reports but still feared slower economic growth in China and the European debt crisis.

The dollar rose 0.1 percent against the euro to $1.229. Earlier Tuesday, Europe's shared currency reached its lowest level against the dollar in four years, ringing in at $1.2111.

The greenback was flat against the Japanese yen at ¥91.26. It was down 0.9 percent against the the British pound to $1.4677.

A report showing slower economic growth in China and new concerns about the European debt crisis reignited doubts about a global economic recovery. The combination of China and Europe's bad news initially boosted the dollar's appeal as a safe-haven investment against other foreign currencies, and drove the euro to a fresh 4-year low.

But the dollar fell back and the euro regained some of its ground later in the day, as the stock market rebounded on news that U.S. manufacturing activity grew for a 10th consecutive month in May, according to the Institute for Supply Management. Meanwhile, a separate report showed construction spending rose 2.7 percent in April - its highest jump since August 2000.

Treasurys advance in quiet trading

Treasurys advanced Tuesday as stocks recovered earlier losses and trading volume remained low following a long holiday weekend.

The benchmark 10-year note rose 29/32 to 102-2/32, driving the yield down to 3.26 percent from 3.3 percent on Friday. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.

The 30-year bond inched up 1-12/32 to 103-13/32 with a 4.18 percent yield, while the 2-year note added 6/32 to 99-31/32 with a 0.77 percent yield. The 5-year note rose 21/32 to 100-11/32 with a yield of 2.06 percent.

Treasury prices gained as stocks retreated Tuesday. Treasurys are viewed as low-risk investments since they are backed by the U.S. government and are particularly attractive during times of economic uncertainty.

Oil slips on global demand woes

Oil prices fell below $73 a barrel Tuesday, after downbeat overseas manufacturing data raised concerns that global fuel demand will remain low.

Crude oil for July delivery fell $1.39, or nearly 2 percent, to settle at $72.58 a barrel Tuesday after dipping as low as $71.64.

Oil traded on Monday, but there was no settlement price because of the U.S. Memorial Day holiday.

The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline fell to $2.727, down from the previous day's price of $2.732, according to motorist group AAA. That's the 26th straight day of declines.

CNNMoney.com reporters Alexandra Twin, Annalyn Censky, Blake Ellis and Julianne Pepitone contributed to this report.

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