US stocks trade lower amid trade worries, various data

New York: US stocks traded lower on Friday, as investors digested various data that came below market expectations and remained worried over US-China trade tensions.

At midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 230.77 points, or 0.87 per cent, to 26,352.65. The S&P 500 slid 28.61 points, or 0.97 per cent, to 2,924.95. The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 125.93 points, or 1.55 per cent, to 7,985.19, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Nine of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors traded lower around midday, with the information technology sector down nearly 2.3 per cent, leading the losers.

The majority of the 30 blue-chip stocks in the Dow also suffered losses, with shares of Cisco Systems down nearly 4.1 per cent, among the worst performers.

More specifically, shares of Caterpillar and 3M, both sensitive to global trade, fell 2.12 per cent and 1.74 per cent respectively. Shares of Intel lost 1.36 per cent.

Yet shares of Pinterest rose nearly 20.5 per cent, as the mobile application firm reported higher-than-expected revenues for the second quarter, despite a quarterly loss of profit.

On the economic front, US consumer sentiment index registered 98.4 in July, higher than the 98.2 in June, the University of Michigan said on Friday.

However, the reading came below market estimate of 98.5, according to economists polled by financial data provider Refinitiv.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 1,64,000 in July, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7 per cent, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.

The job growth came shy of the forecast of 1,65,000 by economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.

July’s reading was in line with the average employment growth in the first six months of the year. Yet it was lower than the average monthly pace of 2,23,000 in 2018.