U.S. stock indices declined for the third straight day after Caterpillar, 3M and American Express posted weak reports.
Meanwhile an index of economic activity in the U.S. rose substantially in the previous month due to improvements in output and employment. The Conference Board reported that the index of leading indicators, which measures economic conditions in the next three to six months, rose 0.6% after a 0.8% increase in May.
The Dow Jones industrial average declined 119.09 points, or 0.7%, to 17,731.92 (the index turned negative for the year). The S&P 500 fell 12 points, or 0.6%, to 2,102.15 (all of its 10 sectors traded lower). The Nasdaq Composite lost 25.36 points, or 0.5%, to 5,146.41.
In Asia this morning Hong Kong Hang Seng fell 0.86%, or 218.90 points, to 25,179.95. China Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.09%, or 44.89 points, to 4,168.82. The Nikkei lost 0.58%, or 119.85 points, to 20,564.10.
Asian stocks outside China fell amid declines in U.S. equities. Chinese stocks rose on regulators' support ignoring a preliminary report from Markit Economics, which showed that China Manufacturing PMI fell to 48.2 in July from 49.4 reported previously. This is the index's fifth contraction in a row.