Slower Growth in Asia Drags Down Markets
Stocks fell Monday as evidence piled up that the global economic slowdown was hurting Asia.
The losses broke a six-day winning streak for the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index, the longest since December 2010.
Japan's economy grew in the second quarter at a 1.4 percent annual rate, slower than many analysts had expected. Last week, China released dismal figures on retail sales and exports in July. Traders were disappointed that Beijing failed to introduce stimulus measures over the weekend.
Slower growth in Asia worries investors because its economic endurance has helped offset weakness in the United States and Europe in recent years. Exports from China and Japan are declining as Europe's economic woes hurt consumer confidence there.
"What's happened is the law of gravity is starting to hit," said Douglas Cote, chief market strategist at ING Investment Management. Japan is volatile because it is still recovering from last year's powerful earthquake and tsunami, he said, and China's growth is slowing sharply.
Yet stocks, bonds and most other investments are all up for the year, Mr. Cote noted. He said the markets have been "pricing in Armageddon when clearly things are much better than that."
The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 38.52 points, or 0.29 percent, at 13,169.43. The S.& P. 500 declined 1.76 points, or 0.13 percent, to 1,404.11. The Dow is still up 7.8 percent for the year, the S.& P. 11.7 percent.
The S.& P. 500 and the Dow have risen every week for the last five weeks. The S.& P. 500 last had a five-week climb in mid-March. The Dow hasn't done so since last October.
Mondays, however, have brought mostly losses for the market in recent weeks. The Dow has fallen for 10 of the last 11 Mondays, and the S.& P. 500 has finished down five of the last six.
The Nasdaq composite index rose 1.66 points, or 0.05 percent, to 3,022.52. The index was helped by solid gains for two of its biggest components, Apple and Google. …