Stocks waver on China concerns

Construction spending increases in April. Global stocks decline after surveys show that manufacturing in China is slowing.

By TheStreet Staff Jun 1, 2010 7:56AM

TheStreetBy Melinda Peer, TheStreet


Updated at 12:13 p.m. ET


Stocks wavered as concerns about slowing growth in China overshadowed an increase in construction spending in the U.S.

At 12:13 a.m. ET, the S&P 500 ($INX) was down by 3.4 points, or 0.3%, at 1,086. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU)  was up 17 points, or 0.2%, at 10,153. The Nasdaq ($COMPX) had fallen 4.6 points at 2,252.

Global stocks dropped today after surveys showed that manufacturing activity in China had slowed in May. Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 1.4%, and Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.6%. The FTSE in London was down 2.2%, and the DAX in Frankfurt was down by 1.7%.

The Commerce Department said construction spending rose 2.7% to $869 billion in April after increasing 0.2% in March.

The Institute for Supply Management's Purchasing Managers Index fell to 59.7 in May from 60.4 in April. Economists had expected a reading of 58.9.


Kraft Foods (KFT), Microsoft (MSFT) and Boeing (BA) were leading the Dow higher, while American Express (AXP), JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and United Technologies (UTX) were its worst performers.


On the New York Stock Exchange, Icahn Enterprises (IEP), Ambac Financial Group (ABK) and WSP Holdings (WH) were making strong gains, unlike Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ), Anadarko Petroleum (APC) and Warner Music Group (WMG).


Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) said it will invest $1 billion in its enterprise services business. The computer maker plans to cut 3,000 jobs and shift 6,000 to other parts of the company. Its shares were up 0.5%.


Caterpillar (CAT) said it will acquire electric-diesel locomotive manufacturer Electro-Motive Diesel for $820 million from a pair of private-equity investors. The stock was gaining 0.02%.


Shares of Apple (AAPL) were up 2.4% to $263.13 after the company said sales of its new iPad device topped 2 million in less than 60 days since its launch on April 3. On Friday, the iPad hit stores in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the U.K. Barclays (BCS) and UBS (UBS) boosted their price targets.

Shares of BP (BP) were down 11% after the company said its "top kill" strategy to stop the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico failed.


Security concerns have prompted Google (GOOG) to phase out the internal use of Microsoft's Windows operating system, according to the Financial Times. (Microsoft is the publisher of MSN Money.)

American International Group (AIG) refused to change the terms of the $35.5 billion sale of its Asian unit, AIA, to Prudential (PUK).

Crude oil for July delivery was down $1.31 at $72.66 a barrel. The August gold contract was up $12.80 at $1,225 an ounce.

The dollar was trading higher against a basket of currencies, with the dollar index up by 0.5%.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury rose 15/32, decreasing the yield to 3.250%.

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Jun 1, 2010 11:17AM
Brutus625 -  Well that certainly is not what I experienced.  Perhaps however I spent most of my time in urban areas where the situation is a bit different.   
Jun 1, 2010 11:09AM
Here Salty, a link for you from 2003 showing at that time, there were 30 million people starving in China.  Most experts believe that number has increased significantly over the last 7 years.

Jun 1, 2010 11:05AM
2 Sick - My point was that "40 Million people on the verge of starvation" is an exaggeration of the facts.  And, that is the problem with many of the posts on these threads.  The truth is exaggerated to the point of irresponsibility.  

Now, while I am pretty dense, explain to me BO ?   
Jun 1, 2010 11:04AM

Yes, it is another great day..


Fsg...You really need to stop back at the Weekend blog and read the final comments.


Mirage Guy..Thanks, for pointing out the skullduggery of plagerism taken on quotes attributed to some of our famous,more recent usages.

 I use to be kind of a nutball about "famous quotes."


Kind of miffed about the market opening at as much lows.

But then again,what is happening now is redeeming along my thought lines....Who would have thunk?


Appeared to me we were "tombstoning" on the VIX.X charts in the 30-40 range; Soooo, I kind of figured we were due for a bust-out to the upside?    


And then we have China throw in a wrench.


Last week I'm pretty sure the Big Boys were quietly buying back in, particularily late in the week. 


Having between 16-20 positions in 7-8 sectors; The indices were flat, but we had gain of about 3.6% for the week.


Something is afoot.....And it just may be the bulls are wearing some bear rugs on there shoulders.

Jun 1, 2010 10:58AM

OTMOPO3OK - Don't count on it. The collapse is just beginning. For the last 20+ years, Western Nations have not only grossly inflated their standard of living, they have inflated their education and wages - - all via deficit spending and borrowing. Now, we are in a real economic/financial pickle. We are most likely just going to kick the can down the road a bit and let the next generation deal with the mess. This is too bad. But, heck, I lived my life (home, business owner, education, etc) and if young people don't care enough to speak up and get involved and stop the madness, then screw'em!

Jun 1, 2010 10:45AM
When I toured China a couple of years ago, I certainly did not get the impression that 40 Million people were on the verge of starvation. 
Jun 1, 2010 10:37AM
We need to remember that China is a communist regime.  There are more than 40 million people in China on the verge of starvation.  The vast majority of the people have no choice about what factory they work in or what wages they are paid.  There are no limits on how many hours they can work.  There's no overtime pay or flex-time compensation.  There's no vacation or sick days.  There's no OSHA. 
Jun 1, 2010 10:27AM
When the $1 store becomes the $5 store then we will see what the changes in China mean.
Jun 1, 2010 10:24AM

International Trade is NOT the villain here! Trade with China, Mexico, Japan, et al., benefits us. In fact, it strengthens rather than weakens a nation's economy. Does anyone remember the Giant Sucking Sound we were supposed to hear when NAFTA got approved 20 years ago? Of course not, because it did not happen. The problem is, and always has been, gov spending, waste, subsidizing, corruption, cronyism, etc., and We have hit the Jackpot with this Administration!

Jun 1, 2010 10:19AM
sry no doom and gloom today, recovery is at full swing amid eu
Jun 1, 2010 10:11AM

I am bracing for things getting worse....


I see Taxes going through the roof, the employment picture worsing (witness today's news that HP is shedding 9,000 workers), government spending out of control, and what seems to be a new socialist order taking hold.   Gold and Silver look better....

Jun 1, 2010 9:58AM

I will buy the best quality I can, at the lowest possible price.


Sorry, but I will not overpay for inferior products made in the USA...

Jun 1, 2010 9:57AM
Imagine how tough things would be if the recession was not over!
Jun 1, 2010 9:52AM

it makes perfect sense

we buy most of the chinese crap

we can't afford the crap

they sell less


Jun 1, 2010 9:52AM
Start buying from America?  Easier said than done. 
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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished an upbeat week on a mixed note. The S&P 500 shed less than a point, ending the week higher by 1.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) cemented a 1.7% advance for the week. High-beta names underperformed, which weighed on the Nasdaq Composite (-0.3%) and the Russell 2000 (-1.3%).

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