USA stocks fall further amid soft economic data

USA stocks fall further amid soft economic data

The Dow closed up 82 points, or 0.35 percent, at 23,675.64. The drops come as investors worry about continuing trade tensions, a court ruling declaring Obamacare unconstitutional, the potential partial government shutdown, the unresolved Brexit issue, and a rising backlash against big tech companies.

U.S. equity markets were slammed Monday, and on track for a second straight day of losses.

On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump and his top trade adviser stepped up their criticism of the central bank's monetary tightening, raising investor anxiety.

Cryptocurrency, on the other hand, made a bit of a recovery, with bitcoin up more than 8% to about $3,539.33 and Ethereum up more than 10% to $95.09 in the past 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap data.

"With increased stock market volatility and signs of slower growth overseas, there are increasing calls for the Fed to halt its rate increases", wrote David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Funds. The small-cap Russell 2000 index confirmed a bear market, having fallen more than 20 percent from its August 31 closing high. -Chinese trade dispute, low oil prices, a possible US government shutdown and the turmoil surrounding Britain's exit from the European Union.

MSCI's world stock index rose 0.2 percent.

Traders at New York Stock Exchange
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in N.Y. on Dec. 18 2018

United States stocks closed higher as investors awaited the central bank's latest decision on interest rate hikes.

Oil prices dropped 4 percent, weakening for a third consecutive session as reports of swelling inventories and forecasts of record US and Russian output.

"An indication from the Fed that they will slow their pace of hikes could calm these jittery markets", he said. FedEx's warning follows Caterpillar Inc., a bellwether of global growth, that was punished by investors in October after repeating its warnings of rising costs due to higher steel prices and USA tariffs.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "While U.S. economic signals are not flashing red. many market participants believe the Fed should provide investors with some breathing room after higher interest rates coupled with tighter liquidly conditions have sent equity markets on a downward spiral since October", Stephen Innes of OANDA said in a commentary.

Benchmark U.S. crude plunged 7.3 percent to $46.24 a barrel in NY.

CURRENCIES: The euro was up 0.3 percent at $1.14 while the dollar fell 0.2 percent to 112.38 yen. The yield on the 10-year Treasury dipped to 2.82 percent from 2.85 percent late Monday. Brent crude, used to price global oils, sank 5.6 percent to $56.26 a barrel in London.

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