Major U.S. stock indexes veered lower in morning trading Wednesday, as investors considered what a pair of disappointing economic reports on manufacturing and jobs could mean for corporate profits. Health care stocks were among the biggest decliners.
The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Wednesday that its manufacturing index slipped to 51.5 in March from 52.9 in February. U.S. manufacturers have faced a drag in recent months from falling oil prices, a rising dollar, winter storms and a since-resolved shutdown of West Coast ports that has created a backlog of shipments.
The stock market closed out the first three months of the year Tuesday on a down note, erasing much of the gains from the prior day's big rally. The Dow Jones industrial average slumped 200 points, knocking the blue chip index slightly lower for the year.
Asian stock markets were lackluster Wednesday as China's manufacturing remained weak in February and a Japanese central bank survey showed businesses are wary about the economic outlook KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index slipped 0.9 percent to 19,034.32 and South Korea's Kospi index lost 0.8 percent to 2,025.54. Australia's S&P ASX/200 fell 0.6 percent to 5,859.10.
" Many tractor-trailers on the nation's roads are driven faster than the 75 mph their tires are designed to handle, a practice that has been linked to wrecks and blowouts but has largely escaped the attention of highway officials. Nearly all truck tires have been built for a maximum sustained speed of 75 mph since the middle of last decade, when drivers across the vast majority of the U.S. were allowed to go no faster than 65 or 70 mph.
In this March 24, 2015 file photo, NYSE floor Governor Nicholas Brigandi, center, works with traders on the New York Stock Exchange floor. Plunging oil prices, a surging dollar and worries about the timing of a rate hike haven't been enough to keep the market from rising for a ninth straight quarter from January through March _ only the fourth time it's done that since World War II.
Iran is negotiating with world powers about its nuclear capabilities, and talks are coming down to the wire. Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET marks the "self-imposed" deadline for all sides to agree on a general framework for a deal.
U.S. stocks moved lower in early trading Tuesday, erasing some gains from the day before. Investors had their eye on the latest round of corporate deals and new data showing U.S. home prices rose modestly in January.
The 19-country eurozone isn't going to be the driving force of the global economy anytime soon, but it's increasingly evident that its numbers are heading the right way. Official figures Tuesday raised hopes that the current bout of deflation across the region could be over much sooner than anticipated while unemployment has fallen to a near three-year low - the latest in a string of indicators to suggest that the eurozone recovery has pushed up a gear in the wake of lower oil prices and a falling euro.