Investing.com – Wall Street was slightly lower on Thursday as concerns about global economic slowdown and a reported snag in U.S.-China trade discussions sent a wave of worry through the market.
The Dow was down 24 points or 0.1% by 9:48 AM ET (13:48 GMT), while the S&P 500 lost 1 point or 0.1% and the Nasdaq composite slipped 17 points or 0.2%.
The prolonged U.S.-China trade war has caused a strain on supply chains and it remains uncertain whether the two countries will sign even an interim trade deal this year. President Donald Trump has claimed that China has agreed to buy up to $50 billion of agricultural products from the U.S., but China is not ready to agree to a specific number, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Data released earlier showed initial jobless claims hit their highest in nearly five months last week, while the rate of factory gate inflation fell to only 1.1%.
"The U.S. economy continues to do well and it does appear the slow path may be coming to an end, but you are still growing close to 2%, which is not excessively strong," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.
"However, it's better than what we are seeing in other parts of the world, like the euro zone in particular."
Data in China showed that its factory output growth slowed further in October, while Germany barely escaped a recession during the third quarter. Japan's economy also grew less than expected in the three months to September.
Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) fell 6.5% after it said its revenue during the current quarter would fall 3% to 5% due to declining global investment spending, while Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ:KHC) slipped 3.9% on an analyst downgrade, and Canopy Growth tumbled 12.8% as its losses widened.
Walmart (NYSE:WMT) rose 2.2% after reporting better-than-expected third-quarter sales in the U.S., while sales in its grocery business also picked up. The company also raised its annual earnings outlook.
In commodities, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was flat at 98.222 and gold futures gained 0.4% to $1,468.65 a troy ounce. Crude oil futures rose 0.8% to $57.62 a barrel.
-Reuters contributed to this report