Stocks Tumble in Early Trading

Fears over emerging markets and corporate earnings

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Brendan McDermid / Reuters

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, January 30, 2014.

Stocks fell sharply Friday morning on poor economic data, lackluster corporate earnings and fears of economic instability in emerging markets.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down almost 200 points as of 10 a.m., or 1.2 percent. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ indexes were also down roughly 1 percent in early-morning trading.

A closely watched gauge of of business conditions—The Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing manager’s index—showed slowing expansion in the manufacturing sector. In addition, weak earnings from large American firms like Amazon have made some traders question the strength of the economy. “I’m really bearish and defensive at the moment,” Daniel Weston, a fund manager at Aimed Capital GmbH in Munich, told Bloomberg. “Amazon was a big concern because the earnings were a reflection on the consumer. I’m concerned about growth and inflation coming off, continuing to trend lower.”

The downturn follows a positive day for the stock market Thursday, with the S&P 500 gaining more than 1 percent.


Republicans face 2016 turmoilAs Republicans look ahead to the 2016 presidential race, they are hoping to avoid the kind of chaotic and protracted nominating battle that dismayed party elders and damaged the eventual candidacy of Mitt Romney. That, however, could be a hard thing to prevent. The party is divided and in turmoil, with a civil war raging between its establishment and insurgent factions. For the first time in memory, there is no obvious early favourite — no candidate with wide appeal who has run before, no incumbent president or vice president, no clear establishment pick. Meanwhile, an enormous number of potential contenders are looking at the race, including, perhaps, a return of virtually everyone who ran in 2012. Come this time next year, 15 or more of them could be traveling the early primary states, jockeying for attention and money. The Republican National Committee is doing its best to prevent a replay of the spectacle of 2012, which saw one candidate after another pop up as a mortal threat to the front-runner. Late last month, the RNC began putting into place rules that would shorten the primary season and make it begin later. This is a party that used to pick its standard-bearer in a relatively orderly fashion, notwithstanding the occasional slip on the ice of Iowa or New Hampshire. “Typically, Republicans have a front-runner, and the front-runner wins,” said Haley Barbour, the former Mississippi governor and RNC chairman