US stocks join global sell-off on growth fears
NEW YORK — Wall Street stocks opened moderately lower Friday, joining a global equities sell-off after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke disappointed investors hoping for a stimulus to the weak US economy.
In the first five minutes of trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 49.50 points, or 0.40 percent, to 12,411.46.
The broad-market S&P 500 slid 5.54 (0.42 percent) to 1,309.45, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite dropped 12.31 (0.43 percent) to 2,818.71.
“Stock markets around the world are retreating this morning after learning yesterday that the US Federal Reserve is not yet ready to step in with another round of monetary stimulus,” said Frederic Dickson at DA Davidson & Co.
“Today, investors appear to be focusing on Europe, expecting Spain to formally ask the European Central Bank for bailout funds to recapitalize some of its banks.”
The bears were in control early Friday.
“Even the prospect of concerted central bank action around the world to address growth and liquidity has not been enough to significantly improve underlying sentiment,” said Dick Green at Briefing.com.
US stocks closed mixed Thursday after China lowered interest rates to spur its slowing economy and Bernanke, in testimony to Congress, did not signal the central bank sees a need for more stimulus, citing “moderate” growth.
The Dow gained 0.4 percent, the S&P 500 was nearly flat and the Nasdaq dropped 0.5 percent.
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