United States markets were mostly lower on Monday, led by declines in energy companies.
KEEPING SCORE The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.12 percent and the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index was down 0.1 percent. The Nasdaq composite index gained 0.19 percent.
DEAL NEWS Tesla Motors agreed to buy the solar panel maker SolarCity for $2.6 billion in stock in a merger aimed at creating a one-stop shop for cleaner energy. Verizon agreed to pay $2.4 billion for Fleetmatics, a maker of software to manage motor pools.
EUROPEAN MARKETS In Germany, the DAX was down 0.3 percent and in France, the CAC 40 lost 0.8 percent. The FTSE 100 was down 0.4 percent in Britain.
CHINA MANUFACTURING Two surveys showed that July’s manufacturing activity in China, the world’s second-largest economy, was relatively weak. The business magazine Caixin said its gauge of manufacturing activity — the so-called purchasing managers’ index — rose to 50.6 from June’s 48.6 on a 100-point scale. Numbers above 50 show expansion. Separately, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, an industry group, said its index edged down to 49.9 in July from 50 in June.
ANALYST’S TAKE “On the one hand, it’s positive that the small to medium private firms that are covered more by the Caixin reading are finally seeing the benefit of all the stimulus efforts,” said Craig Erlam, a senior market analyst at OANDA. “The flip side of this though is that the official number, which covers large state-owned businesses, is clearly struggling with the transition.”
EUROPE ALSO WAVERS It was a mixed picture in Europe too, as the financial information company IHS Markit released its own surveys of the manufacturing sector. An upward revision to Germany’s purchasing manufacturers’ index helped drive a similar increase for the wider 19-country eurozone as a whole. The eurozone’s P.M.I. came in at 52.0 for July, up from the initial estimate of 51.9 but down from June’s 52.8.
BRITAIN IS DOWN The picture in Britain was far more downbeat, with the country’s manufacturing purchasing manufacturers’ index down at 48.2 in July from 52.1 the previous month. That was the latest worrying survey to come out of Britain after the country’s decision in June to leave the European Union. Analysts say the Bank of England is now even more likely to cut its main interest rate from 0.5 percent and announce some sort of stimulus package at its next policy meeting on Thursday.
U.S. TURN Later, the Institute for Supply Management will publish its equivalent report into the state of the manufacturing sector in the United States. The survey will garner a lot of interest after Friday’s report showing that the American economy expanded at an annualized rate of 1.2 percent in the second quarter of the year, half the rate anticipated in the markets. It is a busy week for data, culminating Friday with the nonfarm payrolls report for July.
ASIA’S DAY The Nikkei 225 ended up 0.4 percent in Japan, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng gained 1.1 percent. The Shanghai composite index dropped 0.9 percent in China. The Kospi was up 0.7 percent in South Korea. In Australia, the S.&P./ASX 200 rose 0.5 percent, while the Sensex in India was off 0.2 percent.
ENERGY Benchmark United States crude oil fell 43 cents, to $41.17 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, was 48 cents lower, at $43.05.
CURRENCIES AND BONDS The euro was 0.1 percent lower at $1.1167 while the dollar rose 0.3 percent to 102.36 yen. Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.51 percent.