U.S. Stocks Decline as Biotechnology, Commodities Shares Retreat

U.S. stocks fell for a fourth day as biotechnology shares slumped and raw-material producers sank amid an unexpected decline in Chinese manufacturing, overshadowing a rally in Amazon.com Inc.

Biogen Inc. lost 19 percent after cutting its 2015 earnings forecast. Raw-material and energy shares in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell at least 1.9 percent. Amazon surged 14 percent, while Visa Inc. gained 4.2 percent after profits beat predictions. An index of homebuilders decreased 2.2 percent after new-home sales unexpectedly dropped.

The S&P 500 Index slipped 0.7 percent to 2,088.17 at 12:56 p.m. in New York, below its average price during the past 100 days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 114.22 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,617.70. The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 0.4 percent.

A private gauge of Chinese manufacturing unexpectedly fell to the lowest in 15 months, reinforcing the need for further policy support in an economy that had seen signs of stabilization recently. A separate report showed sales of new homes in the U.S. surprisingly dropped to a seven-month low, painting a picture of less robust improvement during the industry’s busiest time of year.

Source : Bloomberg