The Washington Post Sunday

Signs of trouble from China


A Friday sell-off triggered by concern over the health of the global economy wiped out U.S. equity gains for the week and pushed the benchmark index to an eight-month low.

The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index fell 1.3 percent to 2,599.95, the lowest closing level since April 2. Financial stocks were the worst performers among 11 main industry groups, sinking 3.5 percent during the five-day period. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 1.2 percent to 24,100.

Friday’s drop in the S&P 500 came in a global rout after data reinforced concern about a slowdown in China and European car sales fell for a third month. Not even signs of easing trade tensions could bolster investors.

U.S. equities struggled to hold onto gains earlier in the week, with the S&P 500 coughing up at least some of its intraday advances in four out of five trading days.

Reasons abound for the sentiment shift, from the ongoing trade war to the Federal Reserve’s interest rate increases and political turmoil engulfing Washington. With China’s economy showing signs of slowing, even solid U.S. data hasn’t been enough to spark stock gains.

The Treasury will sell $39 billion of threemonth bills and $36 billion of six-month bills Monday. They yielded 2.44 percent and 2.55 percent in when-issued trading. The government will auction eight-week bills, four-week bills and $14 billion of TIPS Thursday.

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