U.S. Stocks Close On Weak Note Despite Coming Off Day's Lows

After a weak start and a subsequent sharp fall, stocks recovered gradually on Tuesday, but still ended the day’s session in negative territory.

The major averages all ended notably lower, but well off the session’s lows. The Dow, which was down by about 470 points at one stage, ended the day with a loss of 158.64 points or 0.45 percent at 35,314.49.

The S&P 500 settled with a loss of 19.06 points or 0.42 percent at 4,499.38, off the day’s low of 4,464.39. The Nasdaq, which dropped to 13,769.34, ended with a loss of 110.07 points or 0.79 percent at 13,884.32.

The sharp early setback was due to concerns about global economic growth after data showed China’s exports and imports both fell more than expected in July, threatening recovery prospects and adding to pressure on policymakers to unveil additional stimulus.

In U.S. economic news, data showed U.S. trade deficit narrowed to a 3-month low of $65.5 billion in June, from a downwardly revised $68.3 billion in May. Imports fell 1 percent in the month, while exports edged down 0.1 percent.

Wholesale inventories in the United States were down 0.5 percent from a month earlier in June 2023, compared to the preliminary estimate of a 0.3 percent decrease and following an upwardly revised 0.4 percent fall in the prior month.

A report from the National Federation of Independent Business said the NFIB Small Business Optimism index rose for a third straight month to 91.9 in July, the highest reading since November 2022.

Bank shares were under pressure after Moody’s cut ratings for 10 small and midsize lenders and warned six big banks might be downgraded as well.

Salesforce.com and Goldman Sachs, both ended nearly 2% down. Travelers Companies, Wallgreens Boots Alliance, Microsoft, Intel, JP Morgan Chase, and McDonalds also ended notably lower.

Amgen shares rallied more than 3 percent. Walt Disney climbed nearly 1.5 percent. Apple, Caterpillar and Merck posted modest gains.

In overseas trading, ended Tuesday’s session on a mixed note after the release of weak Chinese trade data and ahead of key inflation readings from the world’s largest economies due this week.

European stocks closed notably lower on Tuesday, weighed down by growth worries after data showed China’s exports and imports both sank at their fastest pace sine the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic in July.

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