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US:Wall St declines on China fears


[WASHINGTON] US stocks fell on Tuesday, with the Dow snapping a seven-day winning streak, on renewed fears of slowing growth in China and another bout of selling in biotech shares.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 49.97 points, or 0.29 percent, to 17,081.89, the S&P 500 lost 13.77 points, or 0.68 percent, to 2,003.69 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 42.03 points, or 0.87 percent, to 4,796.61.

Biotechs led the S&P 500 and Nasdaq lower and the S&P health care index, down 1.2 per cent, had the biggest losses among S&P sectors, followed by industrials, down 1.1 per cent. The Nasdaq Biotech Index was down 3.2 per cent, extending recent declines.

Worries about third-quarter earnings reports continued to weigh on sentiment. Earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to have dropped nearly 5 per cent year over year, which would be the worst quarter for earnings in six years, according to Thomson Reuters data. "There's a little nervousness about earnings reports that we'll be seeing over the next couple or three weeks," said John Carey, portfolio manager at Pioneer Investment Management in Boston. "The international situation continues to weigh on people's minds, and commodities were weaker earlier. In the absence of any strong new economic data or blow-away-type earnings results, people are still cautious, waiting for the Fed to decide on whether it's going to raise rates or not," he said.

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After the bell on Tuesday, shares of Intel were nearly flat in choppy trade following results, while shares of JPMorgan Chase, which also reported results, were down 1.7 percent.

Earlier in the day, data showed Chinese imports fell 20 per cent in September due to weak domestic demand, indicating growth in the world's second-largest economy was sputtering.

A devaluation of China's yuan currency in late August triggered a steep selloff in global equities. A bounce in commodities has helped stocks recover in recent sessions, as well as investors' bets that the Federal Reserve will keep benchmark US interest rates near zero until next year.