Stocks traded lower Tuesday as disappointing economic data sparked concerns over the U.S. economy. The Dow lost 343 points, while the S&P 500 dropped 1.2% for its largest decline in more than a month. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 1.1%.
On the data front, the ISM’s manufacturing PMI showed U.S. factory activity falling deeper into contractionary territory in September to a decade low of 47.8 versus August’s 49.1 figure. This follows soft manufacturing reports out of Europe, with Eurozone PMI coming in at the lowest level since October 2012. Separately, domestic construction spending edged up 0.1% in August, below estimates for a 0.5% gain. U.S. Treasuries gained with the yield on the 10-year note slipping three basis points to 1.64%. In commodities, WTI crude declined 1.0% to $53.56/barrel. COMEX gold climbed 0.9% attributed to investors seeking perceived safe haven assets.
All 11 S&P 500 sectors ended the day in negative territory today with Financials, Industrials, Energy, and Materials all declining more than 2.0%. In corporate news, Charles Schwab slid 9.7% after the brokerage firm announced it will be eliminating online trading commissions for stocks, ETFs, and options. McDonalds dropped 2.7% following negative analyst commentary concerning same-store sales forecasts. In earnings, McCormick gained 6.8% after the spice maker topped profit estimates and raised its forward guidance.
The major averages ended the third quarter on a high note Monday. The S&P 500 rose 0.5% as trade optimism boosted investor sentiment. The advance pushed the benchmark index September gain to 1.7% to finish the third-quarter with a 1.2% increase and its best January-September performance since 1997 (+18.7%).