Stocks moved lower in early trading Thursday, sapped by gloomy manufacturing data from Europe, China and Japan. General Motors, Proctor & Gamble and others fell after reporting results that were negatively impacted by a strong U.S. dollar.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 15 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,022 as of 10:45 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell one point, or 0.1 percent, to 2,106 and the Nasdaq composite fell three points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,032.
WEAK SURVEYS: A survey of European manufacturing and services fell in April, due largely to weakness in France and Germany, the continent's two largest economies.
At the same time, HSBC said manufacturing in China slowed to its lowest point in a year in April. The latest sign that growth is faltering in the world's second-biggest economy will add to pressure on policymakers to act to stave off a sharper slowdown.
A similar survey in Japan indicated a third straight monthly decline in manufacturing, suggesting industries are still not in full recovery mode after the recession brought on by a sales tax hike last April.
EUROPE: European markets mostly fell. Germany's DAX lost 1.3 percent, France's CAC-40 declined 1 percent, and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 edged up 0.2 percent.
DOLLAR TROUBLES: General Motors fell $1.22, or 3.5 percent, to $35.94 after the company reported income that fell short of analysts' expectations. Like other manufacturers, GM's earnings were impacted by a strong U.S. dollar.
Another company impacted by the strong dollar was consumer products giant Proctor & Gamble. Earnings at the company were down roughly 8 percent from a year earlier, due largely to the U.S. dollar, which makes its products more expensive when sold abroad. P&G shares fell 71 cents, or 1 percent, to $81.73.
Caterpillar rose 31 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $85.19. While the company reported a better-than-expected profit for last quarter, Caterpillar said it may face bigger issues later this year as long as the dollar remains strong.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose $1.68 to $57.84 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
CURRENCIES, BONDS: The dollar rose to 119.99 yen from 119.98 yen late Wednesday. The euro edged higher, to $1.0744 from $1.0725. Bond prices were steady. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 1.98 percent.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.