U.S. stocks opened sharply lower Friday after a slew of disappointing U.S. data, a fresh plunge in oil to below $30 a barrel and a sell-off in Chinese stocks that added to mounting concerns about slowing global growth.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 350 points in the open to dip below the psychologically key 16,000 level. Financials led decliners in the S&P 500 as the major averages fell more than 2 percent.

 

“Obviously it started with growth concerns overseas and now we’re (hitting) ourselves with the same growth concerns as retail sales were weak and Empire manufacturing that collapsed,” said Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group.

 

Dow futures briefly fell 400 points and the 10-year Treasury yield dipped below 2 percent after retail sales declined 0.1 percent in December. Ex-autos, retail sales also fell 0.1 percent.

 

U.S. crude oil traded about 5 percent lower ahead of the U.S. market open, below $30 a barrel to hit its lowest in more than 12 years. Brent crude was also sharply lower below $30 a barrel.

 

The January Empire manufacturing was minus 19.4.

The Producer Price Index fell 0.2 percent in December after rising 0.3 percent in November.

Industrial production for December fell 0.4 percent. Capacity utilization was 76.5 percent.

 

Consumer sentiment and business inventories are set to come out at 10:00 a.m. Friday also marks an options expiration day that could bring more volatility.

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

 

New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley said that future rate hikes depend on data and that rates are set to continue on gradual upward path. He added that overseas economies pose risk to the United States and there’s little change in outlook since the Fed meeting.

 

Core inflation is quite stable despite lower energy, Dudley said, noting 2016 growth is to be slightly above 2 percent.

 

The Shanghai composite fell about 3.5 percent. European stocks were down more than 2.5 percent in morning trade ET.

 

The U.S. dollar index was down more than half a percent. The euro was at 1.09 and the yen at at 116.8 yen against the greenback.