US STOCKS-Wall St begins year sharply lower after China selloff

lunes 4 de enero de 2016 17:34 GYT

* China and U.S. factory activity shrank in December

* Dow has worst start to the year since 2008

* Amazon top drag on S&P

* Indexes down: Dow 1.6 pct, S&P 1.5 pct, Nasdaq 2.1 pct (Updates to close)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

Jan 4 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks began 2016 sharply lower on Monday, with the Dow marking its worst start to a year since 2008, after weak Chinese economic data fanned fears of a global slowdown.

Indexes partly recovered late in the session, following a turnaround in oil prices that caused energy shares to cut losses. At its low for the day, the Dow was down 467 points and was headed for its worst first-day percentage drop since 1932.

Surveys showed factory activity in the world's second-largest economy shrank sharply in December, sparking a 7-percent slide in Chinese shares that triggered a trading halt. Adding to investors' worries, China's central bank fixed the yuan at a 4-1/2 year low, further weakening it against the dollar.

U.S. data sparked further concern as factory activity weakened unexpectedly in December, according to the Institute for Supply Management.   Continuación...