U.S. stocks closed sharply lower Tuesday, turning negative in morning action after a closely watched reading on manufacturing in the U.S. came in at its worst level since 2009. The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index dropped to 47.8 in September from 49.1. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -1.17% finished 343 points, or 1.3%, to 26,573. The S&P 500 index SPX, -1.21% declined 1.2% at 2,940, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -1.26% fell 1.1% to 7,908. The slowdown in manufacturing reflects a retrenchment in the U.S. and global economies exacerbated by a trade war with China. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast the index to total 50.2. Any reading below 50 indicates deteriorating conditions. “The disappointing data is only fanning long-standing fears of slowing global growth. And with U.S.-China trade expected to produce little in the way of near-term breakthroughs, investors continue to favor countercyclical, defensive stocks with high dividend yields as weak data pushes interest rates ever lower,” wrote Alec Young, managing director of global markets research, FTSE Russell.
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