Dow Futures Tumble 322 Points Because Fears of a Global Economic Slowdown Are Growing

6:27 a.m. President Donald Trump may have extended an olive branch in an attempt to end the U.S. government shutdown, but a slowing China is a bigger problem for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Dow futures have fallen 322 points, or 1.4%, while S&P 500 futures have dropped 1.4%, and Nasdaq Composite futures have slumped 2.1%.

The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ index, a private reading of manufacturing activity in the world’s second largest economy, dropped to 49.7 in December, below economist predictions for 50.1, and, more important, the 50 level that signifies economic expansion.

“An increasing amount of data is pointing to the Chinese economy losing steam and with new orders falling for the first time in 2 1/2 years, the outlook doesn’t look great either,” writes Jasper Lawler, head of research at London Capital Group.

Of course, a similar reading from the official manufacturing PMI on Monday had couldn’t stop the stock market from closing out the year on a high note. That tells us that the year-end surge might have been more about positioning than actual confidence in the global economy, which looks to be on as shaky ground as ever.

Let’s see if the market ends the day with a different take.

Write to Ben Levisohn at

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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