US stocks fall amid economic concerns

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A monitor displays stock market information on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., May 18, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Wall Street’s major averages declined on Tuesday as recent US data fueled concerns about the economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 198.77 points, or 0.59 percent, to 33,402.38. The S&P 500 sank 23.91 points, or 0.58 percent, to 4,100.6. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 63.13 points, or 0.52 percent, to 12,126.33.

Seven of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors ended in red, with industrials and energy down 2.25 percent and 1.72 percent, respectively, leading the laggards. Utilities rose 0.52 percent, the best-performing group.

The U.S. Labor Department reported Tuesday that U.S. job openings slipped to 9.9 million in February, the fewest since May 2021. The reading missed forecasts and signalled that the labour market may be starting to cool amid a slowing economy.

The report came one day after data showed economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector contracted in March for the fifth consecutive month.

The highly-anticipated March U.S. employment report is due on Friday.
“Even though the data is likely to point towards a relatively tight labour market, the report would probably have to be phenomenal to dispel the economic concerns on the market,” said You-Na Park-Heger, an analyst at Commerzbank Research.

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