10:10 AM New York – U.S. stocks opened lower after tensions between Russia and Germany and U.S. escalated and China manufacturing index showed larger than expected contraction. Gold gained 1.2%. Target CEO Steinhafel resigned following data breach in December. Pfizer net dropped 15%.
Stocks in New York traded lower and investors focused on international developments.
A private survey tracking manufacturing in China reported larger than expected contraction in April.
The purchasing managers’ index increased to 48.1 from the preliminary reading of 48.3 and any number below 50 indicates contraction.
The index is tracked by HSBC Holding Plc and Markit Economics.
S&P 500 index declined 13.83 or 0.7% to 1,867.31 and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 31.28 to 4,093.07.
Violence in Ukraine intensified and spread to more cities as Russia backed rebels in the eastern region demanded more control of the governance.
Ukraine sent troops to counter offensive in the eastern industrial heartland over the weekend as violence spread to Odessa, city near Black Sea.
In addition, seven people died after fighting erupted in the eastern city of Kramatorsk.
In commodities trading, gold gained 1.2% and oil advanced after tensions escalated between Russia and U.S. and Germany. Wheat futures increased 3% to the high not seen in thirteen months.
European markets traded lower and the European Commission lowered its estimate for inflation and growth projections.
The commission estimated inflation in the euro zone in the current calendar year of 0.8% and 1.2% in 2015, both estimates are lower than previous announcement in February.
The EC also lowered its growth estimate to 1.7% from the previous estimate of 1.8%.
Industrial production in Sweden unexpectedly declined 3.8% in March, Statistics Sweden in Stockholm reported today.
Krona fell 0.7% to 9.0865 against one euro and dropped 0.55% to 6.5481 against one dollar.
The yen gained 0.2% in New York trading and markets in Tokyo were closed for a holiday.
A gauge of Chinese companies trading in Hong Kong declined after the private survey of manufacturing showed weaker than expected conditions.