U.S. stocks and global risk assets on Thursday were hit with a worse-than-expected trade report out of China.
The S&P 500 Index fell 9.50 points, or 0.79 percent, to trade at 1,197.75 at 1:24 p.m. ET. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 73.90 points, or 0.64 percent, to trade at 11,444.95. The Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.09 percent.
China reported that September exports rose 17 percent from a year ago and imports increased 21 percent from a year ago. However, the report was worse than August’s figures and below economists’ expectations.
Moreover, exports to Europe were particularly weak, which highlights the impact the European debt crisis has already had on the European and global economy.
Basic materials stocks, which are sensitive to global economic growth, dropped, with Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (NYSE:FCX) falling 2.87 percent and ArcelorMittal (ADR) (NYSE:MT) declining 3.38 percent.
Financial are also weighed down by a weak third quarter earnings report from JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM). Shares of JPMorgan plunged 5.84 percent, shares of Citigroup (NYSE:C) dropped 5.86 percent, and shares of Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) fell 3.38 percent.
In Europe, Eurozone member Slovakia finally approved the proposed expansion of bailout fund EFSF. It was the last Eurozone member to do so. This positive news, however, did not outweigh the negative Chinese trade report as the euro is still down against the U.S. dollar for the day.