Investing.com

Investing.com - U.S. stocks edged lower on Monday after U.S. factory data missed expectations, while a selloff in the biotech sector sent the technology-heavy Nasdaq falling sharply.



At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Composite fell 0.16%, the S&P 500fell 0.49%, while the Nasdaq fell 1.18%.



Markit Economics reported earlier that its preliminary U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers’ index fell to a seasonally adjusted 55.5 in March from a final reading of 57.1 in February. Analysts were expecting the index to dip to 56.5 in March.



On the index, a reading above 50.0 indicates industry expansion, below indicates contraction, though stocks fell on fears the U.S. economy still faces headwinds on its road to recovery.



Elsewhere, profit taking in the biotech sectors sent the Nasdaq falling, bruising share prices in companies like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) in earlier trading.



Stocks also fell on concerns that sanctions slapped on Russia by the West over the Ukraine crisis may hamper global recovery by pushing the country close to a recession.



Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG), up 1.86%, J P Morgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM), up 1.50%, and Wal-Mart Stores, up 0.87%.



The Dow Jones Industrial Average''s worst performers included Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE), down 2.16%, Merck & Company Inc (NYSE:MRK), down 1.60%, and Visa Inc (NYSE:V), down 1.13%.



European indices, meanwhile, finished lower.



After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX Select Div. 30 (FD3D)fell 1.49%, France''s CAC 40 fell 1.36%, while Germany''s DAX fell 1.65%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 fell 0.56%.



On Tuesday, the U.S. is to release report on house price inflation and consumer confidence, as well as official data on new home sales.













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