U.S. stocks followed global markets downward Tuesday morning as commodities came under pressure after China reported lower exports for September. The weak data suggests economic growth in the world’s materials-hungry second-largest economy ticked below 7 percent in the third quarter for the first time since the 2008 global economic crisis.
“Soft demand for imported raw materials confirms that the outlook for Chinese industrial production and investment remains subdued,” economist Ian Williams of equity research firm Pell Hunt said in a research note. China will release its preliminary third-quarter gross domestic product estimate next Monday.
Growth in China and other emerging markets has been slowing, and investors are watching warily to see how this will affect growth in the U.S. and Europe. The U.S. third-quarter earnings season is well underway, with results due Tuesday from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) dropped 104 points, or 0.61 percent, to 16.936. The S&P 500 index (INDEXSP:.INX) lost 12.25 points, or 0.61 percent, to 1,999. The Nasdaq composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) shed 29.50 points, or 0.67 percent, to 4,346. Nine out of 10 sectors of the S&P 500 were down Tuesday morning, led by energy and materials stocks.