New York - US stocks Thursday opened lower in the first trading session of 2014 following a mediocre report on Chinese manufacturing activity.
Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 50.28 (0.30 percent) to 16,526.38.
The broad-based S&P 500 dipped 6.89 (0.37 percent) to 1,841.47, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 19.44 (0.47
percent) to 4,157.15.
The HSBC index on Chinese manufacturing activity came in at 50.5 in December, the lowest reading in three months.
The report suggested weak demand for goods from the world's second-biggest economy.
A slow start to US equity markets in 2014 would not be a shock after the S&P 500 gained close to 3 percent in the last month alone, said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare.
The S&P 500 gained almost 30 percent in all of 2013 in its best year since 1997.
Investors will get a reading on US industrial activity later Thursday with reports on manufacturing activity and construction spending.
Initial jobless claims, a sign of the pace of layoffs, fell by 42,000 to a seasonally adjusted 338,000 in the week ending December 21, the US Labor Department said. - Sapa-AFP