Stocks Opened Sharply Lower in First Session of 2019

U.S. stockss opened sharply lower on Wednesday, the first trading day of 2019, as recently released data from major Asian economies pointed to deteriorating manufacturing sector conditions, reigniting concerns of a global growth slowdown. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately declined 260.21 points, or 1.12%, to 23,067.25. The S&P 500 retreated 27.43 points, or 1.09%, to 2,479.42. The Nasdaq Composite fell 82.07 points, or 1.24%, to 6,553.21.

Oil futures early Wednesday in New York retreated to start the new year, as concerns about global economic health continued to drive fears of flagging demand for crude. West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery lost 52 cents, or 1.2%, to $44.89 a barrel. March Brent crude shed 62 cents, or 1.2%, at $53.18 a barrel.

Recent results from the Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index pointing to weakening factory conditions in China contributed to a decline in global equities Wednesday, fueling worries of an economic deceleration in Asia’s export-heavy countries. The private survey showed a reading of 49.7 in December from 50.2 in November.

Tesla Inc (TSLA) shares sank 8 percent on Wednesday after the electric car maker delivered fewer-than-expected Model 3 sedans in the fourth quarter and cut prices for all its vehicles in the United States in response to the loss of a green tax credit.

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