US STOCKS fell yesterday, with the Dow Jones industrial average recording its third consecutive day of losses, as risky assets sold off in wake of disappointing manufacturing data in China.
Financials and materials stocks were the day’s biggest losers while telecom services was the only positive sector as investors sold growth-oriented stocks and bought defensive ones. Trading volume was heavier than in recent sessions.
The market sentiment was dented by a report on manufacturing in China which showed a mild slowdown at the end of 2013 in the world’s second-largest economy had continued into the new year.
US-traded Chinese stocks were down sharply after a US Securities and Exchange Commission judge ruled that the Chinese units of the world’s top accounting firms should be suspended from auditing those companies. Among the biggest losers were internet services provider Baidu, down 6.2 per cent, and SINA, down 5.9 per cent, on heavier-than-usual volume. The US shares of Petrochina, the country’s largest stock by market value, fell 3.1 per cent.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 175.99 points or 1.07 per cent, to 16,197.35, the S&P 500 lost 16.4 points or 0.89 per cent, to 1,828.46.
The Nasdaq Composite dropped 24.126 points or 0.57 per cent, to 4,218.875.
The CBOE Volatility index Vix often used as a fear gauge on Wall Street, closed up 7.2 per cent at 13.77 after rising more than 11 per cent earlier. Trading volume was higher than usual with 7.4bn shares traded.