Wall Street resumes downtrend after brief respite

By Edward Krudy

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks fell Friday, a day after ending a six-day losing streak as weaker trade data from China, the scrapping of a large IPO and ongoing disputes about a second Greece bailout weighed on sentiment.

China’s export growth slowed in May, raising questions over the global growth outlook at a time when investors have been rattled by a barrage of reports showing the U.S. economy is slowing down.

“We have had a slow erosion of economic numbers in the past quarter,” said Brian Battle, vice president of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners in Chicago. “The economic numbers aren’t supporting this level of valuation.”

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 58.32 points, or 0.48 percent, to 12,066.04. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 6.32 points, or 0.49 percent, to 1,282.68. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 9.16 points, or 0.34 percent, to 2,675.71.

Energy shares were among the weakest, tracking a fall in the prices of crude oil. The S&P’s energy index fell 0.6 percent, with Chevron Corp down 0.6 percent to $100.67. U.S. crude dropped 2.1 percent to below $100 a barrel.

Germany stuck to its guns in demanding private investors contribute to a second bailout for Greece despite a European Central Bank warning against triggering market turmoil. That pressured the euro and seemed to feed a trade that uses the correlation between the euro and stocks.

Ally Financial an auto and mortgage lender majority owned by the U.S. government, delayed a $6 billion initial public offering, further troubling investors worried about poor-performing financial stocks during the market’s recent decline.

U.S. shares ended up Thursday for the first time in over a week, but closed off session highs as the mood among investors remained fragile following a 6 percent drop in the S&P 500 from its highs in May.

National Semiconductor Corp’s quarterly revenue topped estimates as sales to Asian handset makers offset a fall in shipments to its bigger cellphone customers, but profit missed expectations. The shares rose 0.2 percent to $24.62. (Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)