It was a sore day for the U.S. equity markets. Underwhelming economic indicators and corporate earnings failed to dispel the malaise that fell over the markets after the Federal Reserve released the minutes of its January meeting.
At the close: DJIA: -0.34%, S&P 500: -0.63%, NASDAQ: -1.04%.
1) “U.S. manufacturers reported the largest monthly rise in production for almost two years in February, suggesting that the economy is set to rebound from the weak patch seen late last year and allaying fears of a double-dip recession,” commented Markit chief economist Chris Williamson. The Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index edged lower, from January’s nine-month peak of 55.8 to 55.2 in February.
However, the Markit Flash Eurozone PMI Composite Index, also released on Thursday, fell further into negative territory, fueling fears that euro-zone GDP will decline in the first quarter… (Read more.)