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18-Dec2018

US markets settle lower on Monday

The US markets ended deeply lower with cut of over two percent on Monday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq posting fresh year-to-date closing lows, extending the worst start to a December since 1980, amid lingering concerns about global economic growth as well as continued uncertainty about trade between the US and China. Negative sentiment was also generated by some disappointing US economic data, including a report from the National Association of Home Builders unexpectedly showing a continued deterioration in confidence in the month of December. The report said the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index dropped to 56 in December after tumbling to 60 in November. Street had expected the index to inch up to 61. With the unexpected monthly decrease, the housing market index tumbled to its lowest level since hitting 54 in May of 2015.

Further, a separate report from the New York Federal Reserve showed a much bigger than expected slowdown in the pace of growth in regional manufacturing activity in December. The New York Fed said its general business conditions index plunged to 10.9 in December after rising to 23.3 in November. Besides, traders were also on edge ahead of the Federal Reserve's highly anticipated monetary policy announcement scheduled for Wednesday. The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates by another quarter point, although traders are likely to closely scrutinize the central bank's accompanying statement and forecasts for clues about future rate hikes.

Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 507.53 points or 2.11 percent to 23592.98, Nasdaq slipped 156.93 points or 2.27 percent to 6753.73 and S&P 500 was down by 54.01 points or 2.08 percent to 2545.94.


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