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US stocks fall on weak China data, lower oil prices

Feb 01 2016 19:01

New York - US stocks fell early on Monday following a disappointing reading on Chinese manufacturing activity and a drop in oil prices.

About 30 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 16 339.60, down 126.70 points (0.77%).

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 13.88 (0.72%) at 1 926.36, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 30.57 (0.66%) to 4 583.39.

Dow member ExxonMobil lost 2.7% and Halliburton fell 2.1% as oil prices opened lower.

Chinese manufacturing activity contracted at its fastest pace in more than three years in January with the purchasing managers index dropping to 49.4, its sixth straight month in contraction territory below a 50 reading.

Chipotle Mexican Grill rose 3.9% following a report in The Wall Street Journal that US food safety regulators will declare its E. coli outbreak over as soon as Monday. The outbreak sickened more than 50 people last year.

Diagnostics company Alere rocketed 45.1% higher on news it agreed to be acquired by Abbott Laboratories for $5.8bn. Abbott fell 2.3%.

Natural gas company Questar surged 20.9% on news it agreed to be acquired by Dominion Resources for $4.4bn. Dominion fell 1.6%.

Aetna gained 1.8% after it reported fourth-quarter net income of $320.8m, up 38% from the year-ago period.

Tesla Motors fell 2.7% as Morgan Stanley trimmed its price target for the stock on expectations its production of electric cars will be lower than previously thought.

Twitter jumped 6.6% following a report of a potential deal involving investor Marc Andreessen and private-equity firm Silver Lake.

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equities  |  international markets

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