Wall Street opened sharply lower Monday after weak Chinese economic data ignited fears of global growth and sparked a selloff in stock markets across the world.
The Dow Jones industrial average opened more than 350 points lower, a drop of nearly 2 percent. The S&P 500 was down more than 1.5 percent at the open and the Nasdaq Composite was off more than 2 percent.
Earlier, Mainland Chinese shares fell 7 percent, triggering a new circuit breaker that hated trading, after surveys showed factory activity at the world’s second-largest economy shrank sharply in December.
Adding to the investors’ worries, China’s central bank fixed the yuan at a 4-1/2 year low.
“Those are violent New Year fireworks. That’s quite a way to start the day off,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
“Right now, the focal point is China, the global economic condition, and the fact that we’re coming off a disappointing year on many levels, a frustrating year on many levels,” he said.