Top Stories
Top Stories

US STOCKS-Wall St extends losses as weak data adds to global growth worries

Amy Caren Daniel

(For a live blog on the U.S. stock market, click or type LIVE/ in a news window.)

* March U.S. manufacturing data misses estimates

* German manufacturing shrinks further

* Nike slips as North America sales fail to impress

* Indexes fall: Dow 1.09 pct, S&P 1.00 pct, Nasdaq 1.15 pct (Updates to open)

March 22 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes extended losses on Friday after the United States joined the euro zone in reporting weak manufacturing activity last month, fueling fears of a slowing global economy.

U.S. manufacturing sector Flash Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) came in at 52.5 in March, well below the estimates of 53.6, according to economists polled by Reuters.

German manufacturing contracted further in March, showing its lowest reading since June 2013, while factory activity across the euro zone looked equally dismal.

"Today's economic numbers indicate the strong relationship that China has with Europe. China has been slowing down, especially in ordering industrial products and automobiles, and that is going to hit Germany out-proportionally," said Kim Forrest, chief investment officer at Bokeh Capital Partners in Pittsburgh

"Moreover, the Fed's action on Wednesday shows that they don't believe the economies of the world are strong enough to continue their raising program."

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday abandoned projections for any interest rate hikes this year, as policymakers see a U.S. economy that is rapidly losing momentum.

The spread between three-month Treasury bills and 10-year note yields inverted for the first time since 2007. An inverted yield curve is widely understood to be a leading indicator of recession.

Financial stocks, which looked set to extend their three-day decline, fell 2.11 percent, while the banking sector declined 2.70 percent.

Adding to the uncertainty were concerns over trade, as U.S. trade delegates head to Beijing next week. President Donald Trump said that a final agreement with China "will probably happen."

Chipmakers, which get a huge chunk of their revenue from China, fell. The Philadelphia chip index was down 1.47 percent, while the broader technology sector declined 1.10 percent.

Hopes of a trade deal and a dovish Fed have sparked a rally in stocks this year, putting the S&P 500 index 3.7 percent away from its closing record high hit in September.

At 9:59 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 283.66 points, or 1.09 percent, at 25,678.85. The S&P 500 was down 28.50 points, or 1.00 percent, at 2,826.38 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 89.99 points, or 1.15 percent, at 7,748.97.

Only the defensive utilities, real estate and consumer staples sectors were trading higher.

Nike Inc dropped 4.6 percent after the sportswear maker's quarterly revenue failed to beat Wall Street estimates. Its partner Foot Locker Inc fell 2.4 percent

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 3.05-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 3.60-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 41 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 18 new highs and 23 new lows. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)