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The Markets Now: Chinese Production Slowdown Hits Energy Stocks


Plus, Genworth Financial continues to ride the housing recovery.

Stocks pared earlier losses as the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) increased 0.19% to 14,424.87. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) climbed 0.11% to 1,552.96, and the Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) fell 0.03% to 3,243.24. The National Bureau of Statistics of China reported that industrial production increased 9.90% in the January-February period of 2013 over the same period last year. This increase represents the slowest growth since 2009.

This week, the US Treasury will auction $45 billion worth of 4-week Treasury bills, $35 billion worth of 3-month Treasury bills, and $30 billion worth of 6-month Treasury bills.

Valero (NYSE:VLO) shares declined 3.91% to $43.72. The slower growth of China's industrial production helped bring energy stocks, especially refiners, down on Monday.

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) continues its steep decline, which began last month after it reported weak earnings and announced the offering of more common shares. Shares of the mining company dropped 3.10% to $23.96.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares declined 0.97% to $427.55. CLSA analyst Avi Silver downgraded Apple to "Outperform" from "Buy," citing a weaker forecast for iPhone sales. Robert W. Baird analyst William Power also cautioned that iPhone 5 and iPad orders appeared to be running below estimates for Apple's quarter ending in June. Power maintained his Neutral rating and price target of $465 per share.

Genworth Financial (NYSE:GNW) spiked 6.58% to $10.49. Investors believe the housing rebound will help Genworth, which provides life insurance and mortgage guaranties. New home sales increased to an annual pace of 437,000 in January, the largest increase since January of 2008.

Ford (NYSE:F) increased 1.85% to $13.22. Auto sales in China rose 19.5% in January and February of this year. Ford saw its sales increase 46% in China to 105,209 vehicles. In February, Ford's total auto sales increased 9% year-over-year.

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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