The New York Stock Exchange, which had started the first session of the month in the green, cooled at the close, with the Dow Jones ending in negative territory after disappointing manufacturing figures in China.
According to final figures, the Dow Jones Index lost 0.28% to 34,838.16 points and the S&P 500 dropped 0.18% to 4,387.16 points. The tech-heavy Nasdaq index remained stable, up 0.06% to 14,681.07 points.
“The market had started higher but it partially ended in the red, due to the fall in bond yields”, a sign that investors are looking for bonds and their safe-haven status, noted Peter Cardillo of Spartan Capital Securities.
Yields on ten-year Treasuries, which move in contrast to the price of securities, fell to their lowest level since early February to 1.1740% from 1.2223% on Friday.
Markets were worried about global growth when a manufacturing index in China showed activity approaching contraction in July.
According to an independent index released on Monday that confirms the trend of the official index, manufacturing activity in China fell in July to its lowest level in 15 months.
The Purchasing Managers’ Activity Index (PMI), calculated by IHS Markit, stood at 50.3 points in July compared with 51.3 points in June, a result below analysts’ predictions.
A figure above 50 indicates an expansion of activity and, below that, it reflects a contraction.
In the United States, growth in the manufacturing sector also slowed in July to 59.5% from 60.6% the previous month, another sign that caught the attention of investors.
“The economy is cooling in China and investors are becoming cautious, fearing the possibility of slow growth” of the world economy, stressed Peter Cardillo.
On the equity side, e-payments group Square jumped 10.17% to $272.41 after Sunday’s surprise announcement of the $29 billion buyout of Afterpay, a specialist in credit payment after delivery.
For Square, led by Twitter boss Jack Dorsey, the merger with the Australian start-up that is being adopted by 16 million users in several countries “is a chance to capitalize on the changes underway in the traditional credit universe, and to particularly target young people,” pointed out Art Hogan of National Securities.
Credit card group Global Payments fell 11.18% after positive results but which did not impress analysts.
Amazon, which had led the Nasdaq on Friday by losing 7.56% due to disappointing sales and prospects, stabilized at $3,331.48 (+0.12%).
Shares of warehouse logistics group GXO Logistics, which went public on Monday, ended up 8.74% at $63.07 for its first listing.
Online brokerage platform Robinhood, which ended its first trading session lower on Thursday, closed up 7.20% on the verge of its IPO price of $38.
Electric car maker Tesla’s stock, which last week announced it had surpassed the billion-dollar quarterly profit mark for the first time, rose 3.27% to $709.67.