Wall Street edges lower on China economy woes, tech outlook

The Charging Bull statue, also known as the Wall St. Bull, is seen in the financial district of New York City, US. (Reuters pic)

NEW YORK: Wall Street sagged into the red on Friday but clung to slender gains for the week as investors were buffeted by an array of global uncertainties and risks.

The subdued movements for stocks came as investors await next week’s policy meeting by the Federal Reserve, which investors will scrutinize for signs the central bank is ready and willing to lower interest rates.

The major indices were also largely unmoved by rosy economic news from the United States – where data showed retail sales and industrial output were strong in May – focusing instead on gloomy numbers from China and a dimming outlook for semiconductors.

The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down less than a tenth of 1%, settling at 26,089.61.

The broader S&P 500 fell 0.2  to 2,886.99 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq sank 0.5% to close at 7,796.66.

Good US economic news “helped alleviate some of the bear factors showing that the economy was slowing too much,” Peter Cardillo of Spartan Capital told AFP.

“We also have technical issues… that helped the market at the end of the session.”

Chinese industrial production in May hit its slowest pace in 17 years, raising fears of a pronounced slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy, according to official data released Friday.

Meanwhile, chipmaker Broadcom plunged 5.6% after the company missed earnings targets and cut revenue guidance, citing the US export ban on Chinese telecoms giant Huawei in particular.

The travails put downward pressure on other chipmakers. Intel fell 1%.

US data helped calm fears the economy was trending toward recession.

Retail sales jumped in May and were revised for April from negative to positive and industrial output rebounded due to a jump in utilities and a recovery in auto production, although the trend so far in 2019 remained sluggish.