Stocks Opened Lower on Weak Global Data

U.S. stocks opened lower on Friday, weighed by a weaker-than-expected personal income report and disappointing economic data from Europe and China.  The Dow Jones industrial average lately fell 78.34 points or 0.56 percent, to 13,976.15, the S&P 500 lost 9.25 points or 0.61 percent, to 1,505.43 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 24.63 points or 0.78 percent, to 3,135.56.

U.S. consumer spending rose in January as Americans spent more on utilities, with savings providing a cushion after income recorded its biggest drop in 20 years. The Commerce Department said on Friday consumer spending increased 0.2 percent in January after a revised 0.1 percent rise the prior month. Spending had previously been estimated to have increased 0.2 percent in December.

U.S. manufacturing lost some momentum in February as overseas demand declined, but output grew at its fastest pace in nearly a year, a survey showed on Friday. Financial data firm Markit said its U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index fell to 54.3 last month, nearly a full point below a preliminary estimate of 55.2. It stood at 55.8 in January.

European manufacturing appeared no closer to recovery last month while growth in Asia cooled, according to business surveys and trade data on Friday that pointed to ongoing weakness in global demand. In China, factory growth slowed to multi-month lows.

Best Buy on Friday reported quarterly earnings and revenue that exceeded expectations. Its loss after paying preferred dividends totaled $409 million, or $1.21 per share, for the three months ended Feb. 2. That compares with a loss of $1.82 billion, or $5.17 per share, in the prior-year quarter. Revenue ticked slightly higher to $16.71 billion from $16.67 billion a year ago.

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