U.S. markets and stock ETFs retreated Friday, stumbling after a strong week, on concerns over global growth in response to poor data out of China.
On Friday, the Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) was down 0.9%, SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEArca: DIA) fell 0.7%, and SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY) dropped 0.3%.
China’s economy grew at its weakest pace in almost three decades over the third quarter as a trade war with the U.S. weighed on the emerging market and fueled fears of a global slowdown, Reuters reports.
“China data just adds to the continued slowing global growth concept that has been out there for a while,” Chris O’Keefe, managing director at Logan Capital Management, told Reuters.
The Chinese economy expanded 6% in the quarter as business activity continued to weaken.
“The figures are painting markets in red today,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at London Capital Group, told the Wall Street Journal. “Pulling below 6% would be really bad for investor sentiment, not only in China, but globally.”
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) also weighed on the broader U.S. markets after the healthcare conglomerate announced it would recall a single lot of its baby powder in the U.S. in response to the Food and Drug Administration’s discovery of trace amounts of asbestos in samples taken from a bottle purchased online.
However, a strong third quarter corporate earnings season helped buoy markets this week, with the latest Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) and Schlumberger (NYSE: SLB) adding to the earnings beats.
“Coke is being innovative and Pepsi also had stronger-than-expected earnings. Overall, these companies are benefiting from the strength of the consumer,” O’Keefe added.
Of the 73 S&P 500 companies to report results so far, 83.6% have announced better-than-expected earnings, according to Refinitiv data. Analysts, though, still expect third-quarter S&P 500 earnings to dip by 3.1%, the first contraction since mid-2016.
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