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The Dow Now: Disappointing Manufacturing Data Results in a Sea of Red

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Wal-Mart is one of the rare gainers in midday trading.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL US equities are suffering from a post-holiday hangover, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) down 0.74% to 12,993.91 as of 12:11 p.m.

Markets were weighted down by a surprisingly poor purchasing manager's index (PMI) report, which showed that manufacturing shrank at its fastest rate in over three years, falling to 49.6 in August from 49.8 in July. The consensus estimate had been 50.0. A reading below 50.0 indicates contraction in the sector.

"Given everything we see internationally in terms of demand for our manufacturers, a little slowdown is to be expected, especially with the eurozone still under pressure and emerging economies experiencing relatively slow growth," Patrick O'Keefe, director of economic research at J.H. Cohn, told Reuters.

Only four of the 30 Dow components are not in the red in Tuesday trading. Wal-Mart (WMT) inched up 1.13% to $73.42. The big box retailer typically benefits from an economic slump as consumers turn towards its low-priced goods.

Materials and industrial stocks are taking a big hit in the wake of poor manufacturing data, so unsurprisingly, Caterpillar (CAT) is the biggest Dow loser in intraday trading, down 3.19% to $82.61.

Aerospace companies were also down across the board, with Boeing (BA) dipping 0.85% to $70.79 and United Technologies (UTX) falling 2.33% to $77.99.

Another big loser is Intel (INTC), down 2.17% to $24.29. Ever-weakening demand for PCs has affected the company, which was one of the five worst-performing blue chips in August.

Twitter: @sterlingwong
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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