Spain, economic data weigh on U.S. stocks
New York, NY, United States (AHN) – U.S. stocks were little changed on the open Monday after a report showed that U.S. personal spending was weaker than expected, and on news that Spain’s economy has fallen into recession.
Just before 10 a.m. on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was lower by 28 points, the Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 7 points and the NASDAQ fell 18.
Market analysts are hopeful that the mostly positive first-quarter corporate earnings have boosted U.S. investors’ confidence enough that the gloomy news from Spain will not weigh too heavily on markets in the United States.
Not helping equities Monday was a government report that showed personal spending rose 0.3 percent in March, less than the expected 0.4 percent.
While investors remain cautious following the dire news out of Spain, they will also have plenty of other reports due this week that may keep them on the sidelines, including manufacturing data on Tuesday, the European Central Bank’s policy statement Thursday, and April’s U.S. jobs report on Friday.
U.S. stocks managed to close higher Friday, as better-than-expected corporate reports held more clout than a report showing disappointing first-quarter economic growth.
In world markets Monday, Spain’s government said its economy declined for the second straight quarter, putting the nation into a recession. The report came just a few days following S&P’s downgrade of Spain’s credit rating and a reading on the country’s unemployment rate that showed it hit a new high.
The news sent Europeans market lower.
Hong Kong ended higher. while markets in Tokyo and Shanghai were closed for holidays.
In currencies and commodities, the dollar rose against the euro and the British pound, but was flat against the Japanese yen.
Oil for June delivery slid 73 cents to $104.20 a barrel, and gold for June delivery slipped $11.60 to $1,654.80 a troy ounce.