The biggest U.S. gasoline price surge in years is running out of steam just in time for the start of the summer driving season.Energyread more
Stocks rose on Friday, but notched weekly losses as investors worried the U.S.-China trade war is hurting economic growth.US Marketsread more
The combination of mounting recession fears, bets on a more cautious Fed and a regular uptick in market volatility could spell more losses.Marketsread more
The therapy, Zolgensma, is a one-time treatment for spinal muscular atrophy — a muscle-wasting disease and leading genetic cause of infant mortality, affecting 1 in every...Biotech and Pharmaceuticalsread more
SpaceX has raised just over $1 billion in financing since the beginning of the year.Investing in Spaceread more
An analyst for Ark Invest, which has a major investment in Tesla, says recent drastic price-target cuts by others on Wall Street are missing the big picture.Investingread more
Former Foreign Minister Boris Johnson is seen as the bookmaker's favorite to succeed outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May.Europe Politicsread more
Apple bought Tueo Health, which was developing tech to help parents monitor asthma symptoms in children, using a mobile app and commercial breathing sensors.Technologyread more
United Airlines will take its 14 Boeing 737 Max jets off its schedule for another month, through Aug. 3, canceling another 1,290 flights.Airlinesread more
Trade could be a big factor for markets in the week ahead, but investors will also be attuned to fresh inflation data and the bond market, which is flashing new worries about...Market Insiderread more
Mississippi is one of several states that have moved to pass new restrictions on abortion this year.Politicsread more
A private survey on China's manufacturing sector showed on Friday that factory activity contracted more-than-expected in January — confirming views that the world's second-largest economy started the new year on soft footing.
The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) came in at 48.3 in January — the second-consecutive month of contraction and the lowest reading since 2016. January's reading was also weaker than the 49.5 that analysts polled by Reuters expected, and the 49.7 reported in December.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below that level signals contraction.
The PMI is a survey of businesses about the operating environment. Such data offer a first glimpse into what's happening in an economy, as they are usually among the first major economic indicators released each month. Investors have been closely watching economic indicators from the world's second-largest economy for signs of trouble amid domestic headwinds and the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute.
"Latest survey data signalled subdued overall operating conditions in the Chinese manufacturing sector at the start of 2019," the statement by Caixin and IHS Markit said. "Softer demand conditions led companies to revise their production schedules ... Underlying data indicated that weakness largely stemmed from muted domestic demand."
The Caixin PMI data followed the release of China's official manufacturing PMI on Thursday by the National Bureau of Statistics. The official data came in at 49.5 — higher than 49.3 expected by analysts in a Reuters poll and the 49.4 reported in the previous month.
The two PMI surveys on the Chinese manufacturing sector showed different readings because of the types of companies being polled. Large businesses and state-owned enterprises make up a large proportion of responses in the official PMI, while the Caixin indicator has a bigger mix of small- and medium-sized firms.
Chinese authorities have introduced measures to support the economy in the past year, with a particular focus on helping to boost smaller firms. But Friday's release of the Caixin measure indicated that the policies introduced so far to support the Chinese economy have not worked, said Zhengsheng Zhong, director of macroeconomic analysis at CEBM Group, a subsidiary of Caixin.
"On the whole, countercyclical economic policy hasn't had a significant effect," Zhong said in a statement. "China is likely to launch more fiscal and monetary measures and speed up their implementation. Yet the stance of stabilizing leverage and strict regulation hasn't changed, which means the weakening trend of China's economy will continue."
Jian Chang, Barclays' chief China economist, agreed that Beijing needs to do more. She told CNBC's "Street Signs" that Barclays is expecting China's central bank to cut benchmark interest rates by 25 basis points twice this year — in the first and second quarters, respectively — to further boost the economy.
But such supportive measures may take time to be effective, economists said. Economic growth in China could stay weak in the first half of 2019 given both external and domestic challenges, Citi economists wrote in a Thursday note. Last year, growth in China slowed to 6.6 percent — the lowest expansion rate in 28 years.
China's manufacturing sector is not the only one feeling the pinch. Other export-oriented economies such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan also reported weaker PMI numbers and lackluster factory outlook for 2019.