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Boeing, J&J sink as US stocks retreat

Boeing, J&J sink as US stocks retreat

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., October 18, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

NEW YORK: Fresh revelations about Boeing and Johnson & Johnson weighed on the Dow on Friday (Oct 18) as US stocks retreated following weak Chinese economic data.

Boeing sank 6.8 per cent after new documents in an investigation of the 737 MAX suggested company pilots knew in 2016 of problems with a system blamed for two deadly crashes that have grounded the plane.

Johnson & Johnson tumbled 6.2 per cent as the health giant undertook a recall of "a single" lot of baby powder due to trace levels of asbestos contamination. The announcement came with the company facing litigation over a number of products, including talcum powder.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 255.68 points (0.95 per cent) to 26,770.20.

The broad-based S&P 500 fell 11.75 points (0.39 per cent) to 2,986.20, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 67.31 points (0.83 per cent) to 8,089.54.

The drop came after China reported growth of just 6.0 per cent in the third quarter, its slowest rate in nearly three decades, due in part to the hit from a lengthy trade war with the United States.

Offsetting these negatives have been revived hopes for Brexit after Britain reached a revised deal with the European Union over their terms of divorce.

However, "there is uncertainty embedded with the vote in Parliament," Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial, said of the upcoming vote on Brexit.

Source: AFP/ec

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