China Woes Cause U.S. Markets & Shoe Stocks To Plunge

For those looking to the markets to bolster their confidence for the start of the New Year, it’s a disappointing day.

U.S. markets are down sharply on the first trading day of 2016 as concerns about China’s economy weighed on investor sentiment and sparked a global stock sell-off. Mainland Chinese shares fell 7 percent.

At 1 p.m. EST, the Dow Jones industrial average had shed 374.30 points, or 2.14 percent, to 17,050.73; the Nasdaq Composite lost 125.09 points, or 2.50 percent, to 4,882.33; and the S&P 500 fell 41.99 points, or 2.05 percent, to 2,001.95. During mid-morning trading, the Dow briefly sank 450 points.

Asian markets, which experts say are responsible for spooking U.S. investors, also remained down sharply at press time.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange composite index dropped 242.92 points, or 6.86 percent, to 3,296.26; the Hong Kong Hang Seng index fell 587.28 points, or 2.68 percent, to 21,327.12; and NIKKEI 225 slumped 582.73 points, or 3.06 percent, to 18,450.98.

As usual, footwear stocks moved in tandem with the market. At press time, shares of Nike Inc. are down 2.02 percent, Under Armour Inc. has slid 2.25 percent, Steven Madden Ltd. has lost 1.6 percent and Skechers USA Inc. is down 2.15 percent.

Concerns about the economic stability of the world’s most populous country and its largest exporter have weighed heavily on global markets in recent months.

For much of the summer, China’s stock market experienced volatility, causing economic mayhem, and stoked by multiple cuts to the valuation of the yuan by the country’s government.

Back on Aug. 24, the Shanghai Composite slumped 8.5 percent, alarming Wall Street investors and causing the S&P 500, the Dow Jones industrial average and the Nasdaq to enter correction territory, with the Dow losing a record 1,000 points.

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