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U.S. stocks dip after report of disappointing China data

It was another workday Oct. 7, 2016, for

It was another workday Oct. 7, 2016, for traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

U.S. stocks slid Thursday, after a report of a steep drop in China’s exports. Mining and chemicals companies and banks took some of the largest losses. China is the second-largest economy in the world its weakness could slow growth in the United States.

ON WALL STREET: At the close, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 45.3 points, about 0.3 percent, at 18,099. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 6.6 points, about 0.3 percent, to 2,132.6. The Nasdaq composite gave up 25.7 points, about 0.5 percent, to 5,213.3. The indexes had been down more than 1 percent during the morning.

OIL PRICES: As markets closed, benchmark U.S. crude oil gained 26 cents to $50.90 per barrel in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude, the international standard, was up 14 cents at $51.95 a barrel.

BONDS: Bond prices rose sharply and yields turned lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slid to 1.73 percent from 1.77 percent. That hurt banks, as it’s a sign investors think interest rates will stay low and banks won’t be able to make as much money from lending. Bank of America fell 35 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $15.68 and Citigroup skidded 99 cents, or 2 percent, to $15.68.

CHINA WORRIES: China’s exports fell 10 percent in September compared to a year ago. That was a much bigger drop than in August and also a larger decline than analysts expected. China has been critical to global economic growth for a quarter century. Since the summer of 2015, stocks have periodically been roiled by worries that China’s economy was weakening.

WHEN CHINA SNEEZES: Miners and other companies that make basic materials fell the most in early trading. Many of those companies rely heavily on exports to China. Copper and gold producer Freeport-McMoRan gave up 72 cents, or 7.2 percent, to $9.33. Fertilizer maker Mosaic shed 93 cents, or 3.9 percent, to $22.86 while chemicals maker DuPont lost $1.01, or 1.5 percent, to $67.77. Paper and packaging company International Paper sank 95 cents, or 2 percent, to $45.44.

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