The stock markets in the United States extended declines on renewed concerns regarding the global economic growth due to China’s weak trade data, which showed continued weak domestic demand from the world’s second-largest economy and biggest energy user.

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China’s exports declined 6.8%, and imports dropped 8.7% in November. The country’s exports and imports fell for the 5th and 13th consecutive months, respectively.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Larry Peruzzi, managing director of international equities at Mischler Financial Group, said, “The Chinese data that came out pushed us down this morning, but since then oil has found some support, and that’s caused markets to stabilize here.”

Peruzzi added, “Prior to the past couple of days, we were looking at how data was going to influence the Fed and rates, and now the energy story is really dictating the market. It’s all commodity-driven.”

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Yesterday, companies in the energy and raw materials sector suffered a sell-off due to the declining oil prices. Today, the WTI and Brent Crude are trading around $37.54 per barrel, and $40.per barrel, respectively.

Richard Sichel, chief investment officer at Philadelphia Trust Co., commented, “The U.S. economy has been looking pretty good, but other regions like China have come into play and showed that growth around the world may not be as strong.”

Federal Reserve Chairperson Janet Yellen recently stated that the U.S. economy is strong enough to withstand any interest rate hike. The strong jobs data last week boosted speculations for a December rate hike.

Ryan Larson, head of U.S. equity trading at RBC Global Asset Management, said, “The market is expecting a rate hike and the Fed will reintroduce uncertainties and lose credibility if they fail to raise rates.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 17, 568.00(-0.92%)
  • S&P 500- 2,063.59 (-0.65%)
  • NASDAQ- 5,098.24 (-0.07%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,159.3 (-0.41%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,297.46 (-1.87%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,135.22 (-1.42%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 10,637.60 (-1.95%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 19,492.60 (-1.04%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 21,905.13 (-1.34%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 3,623.02 (-1.75%)

Stocks in Focus

AutoZone gained nearly 6% to $797.09 per share after the company reported strong financial results for the first quarter ended November 21, 2015.The company posted 14% increase in diluted earnings to $8.29 per share. Its net sales rose 5.6% to $2.4 billion.

The stock price of Qualcomm declined more than 5% to $49.48 per share. The European Commission claimed that Qualcomm undermined competition in the region. The antitrust regulator said its preliminary conclusions suggested that the company may have illegally paid a major customer for exclusively using its chipsets and sold chipsets below cost to force a competitor out of the market.

Outerwall plummeted more than 24% to $44.04 per share. The owner of the Redbox DVD rental kiosk reduced its full-year guidance, which was below the expectations of Wall Street analysts. The company expected its 2015 earnings to be around $7.65 to $8.15 per share and revenue in the range of $1.75 billion to $1.76 billion.

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