NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures slid in premarket trading Tuesday as data out of China, whose blistering economy helped sustain global growth during the economic downturn, showed some signs of weakness.
Thirty minutes ahead of the market opening, Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 67 points to 13,100 and the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 futures fell 8.3 points to 1,395.70. Nasdaq 100 futures fell 12.25 points to 2,715.50.
Even a promising outlook for the housing sector was not enough to sustain a rally from last week that pushed stocks to new heights for the year.
While homebuilders in the U.S. began work on fewer homes in February, they are preparing for what may be the best spring performance out of that sector since the housing market imploded several years ago.
The Commerce Department said Tuesday that builders broke ground on a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 698,000 homes last month. That’s down 1.1 percent from January.
The government, however, upped its figures from January. And building permits, a gauge of future construction, jumped 5.1 percent last month to the highest level in more than a year.
A mild winter allowed builders to keep working in most parts of the country. And an improving job market has many slightly more optimistic about home sales this year.
Those healthy figures appeared to be overshadowed by news out of China.
Home prices dropped in 45 Chinese cities in February as the government tries to cool property speculation. And mining giant BHP Billiton said Tuesday it expects iron ore demand in China will flatten somewhat.
That sent the shares of mining companies, which have increasingly relied on a robust developing world for growth, to slide in premarket trading.
China’s Shanghai Composite Index ended 1.4 percent lower at 2,376.84.
“Concerns about Chinese economic growth are resurfacing,” said Neil MacKinnon, global macro strategist at VTB Capital.
European indexes are falling as well.
In Europe, Germany’s DAX fell 1.2 percent to 7,071 at midday there while the CAC-40 in France was 1.3 percent lower at 3,532. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 1 percent at 5,903.
In the risk-averse trading environment, the euro also suffered, trading 0.3 percent lower at $1.3191.