US stock prices ease, recovering most of an early swoon, after Chinese manufacturing contracts

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Stock prices are slightly lower at midday on Wall Street after manufacturing contracted unexpectedly in China this month.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 10 points at 15,297 as of noon (1600 GMT), a loss of 0.1 per cent. It had been down 127 points in the early going following steep losses in European and Japanese markets.

Traders attributed the early swoon on Wall Street and in overseas markets to the slowdown in China’s economic engine and worries among investors that the Federal Reserve may ease back on its economic stimulus program.

The Dow is still up 16.7 per cent this year.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 fell five points to 1,650, or 0.3 per cent. The Nasdaq composite fell five points to 3,457, or 0.2 per cent.