Due mostly to economic woes in China as well as concerns over an interest rate hike, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished August with a 6.1 percent decline to 16,528.
The Dow ended the day with a 0.7 percent drop while the broader S&P 500 shed 0.8 percent to close at 1,972. The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group Index closed down 0.7 percent to 1,193. The WWD Global Stock Tracker lost 0.6 percent to end the day at 106.91.
Investors were waiting for clues from the Federal Reserve on a rate hike as policymakers convened at banker conference in Jackson Hole. The Fed Vice Chairman Fischer suggested that concern over inflation made a September rate hike a possibility.
Earlier in the day in Europe, stock markets failed to recover from last week’s global sell-off. The DAX in Frankfurt declined 0.4 percent to 10,259, followed by the CAC 40 in Paris with a 0.5 percent drop to 4,653. The FTSE MIB in Milan lost 0.2 percent to close at 21,941. London’s FTSE 100 was closed on Monday due to a bank holiday.
In Asia, markets were mixed on Monday.
China’s Shanghai Composite Index closed down 0.8 percent to 3,205.99, while the Shenzhen Stock Exchange Composite Index finished with a decline of 3.1 percent to 1,790.31. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index ended up 0.3 percent to 21,607.58, and Japan’s Nikkei 225 dipped 1.3 percent for the day to 18,890.48.
Back in the U.S., it’s a good morning for J.C. Penney. The beleaguered discount department store got an upgrade from Deutsche Bank. J.C. Penney’s was upgraded to a Buy from a Hold and the price target was raised from $10 to $12. Analyst Paul Trussell said his earnings estimates were still conservative, but thinks there could be meaningful upside to the stock. Trussell likes that changes that J.C. Penney has made with regards to the shoe department and the private label offerings are moves in the right direction. The stock is up 2 percent to $9.14.
Oil prices fell again as investors decided to take advantage of the last jump higher and took profits. U.S. crude is near $44 a barrel and despite ending a bit higher last week, oil is looking like it will face its fourth consecutive monthly drop.
Most market watchers are describing Monday as a quiet summer day of trading with most waiting for Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report. The market expects an additional 217,000 over the prior month’s report of 210,000.