Global Stocks Slide Early Friday

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are sagging Friday after weak economic data from China has investors worrying about the global economy again.

China's government said industrial output and retail sales both slowed in November.

In the U.S., technology and health care companies took some of the worst losses. Software maker Adobe, coffee chain Starbucks and wholesaler Costco all sank after issuing weak reports or forecasts.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index lost 18 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,631 at 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 190 points, or 0.8 percent, to 24,407.

The Nasdaq composite slid 63 points, or 0.9 percent, to 7,006. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks, which has taken bigger losses than the rest of the market in recent months, was unchanged at 1,432.

December is typically the best month of the year for stocks and Wall Street usually looks forward to a "Santa Claus rally" that adds to the year's gains. This month, however, the S&P 500 is down almost 5 percent. That followed a small gain in November and a steep 6.9 percent drop in October.

SLOWING GROWTH: China's industrial output and retail sales kept growing in November, but the pace of growth slowed down. That could be another sign that China's trade dispute with the U.S. and tighter lending conditions are chilling its economy. For more than 20 years, China has been one of the biggest contributors to growth in the global economy, and when investors see signs the Chinese economy is weakening, they expect it will affect other countries like the U.S. that sell things to China.

China also announced a 90-day suspension of tariff increases on U.S. cars, trucks and auto imports. It's part of a cease-fire that the Chinese and U.S. governments announced earlier this month to give them time to work on other aspects of the trade dispute.

Among technology companies, Apple dipped 2.1 percent to $167.32 and Cisco Systems fell 2.5 percent to $46.32. Adobe skidded 5.1 percent to $235.33 after its fourth-quarter profit disappointed investors and it also forecast lower-than-expected earnings in the current fiscal year.

In health care, Johnson & Johnson dropped 4 percent to $141.98 and Pfizer lost 1.6 percent to $43.85 while biotech drugmaker Amgen gave up 1.4 percent to $194.71.

OVERSEAS: Germany's DAX declined 0.3 percent and the CAC 40 in France declined 0.6 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.3 percent.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index slid 2 percent and the Kospi in South Korea lost 1.3 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 1.6 percent.

CAFFEINE HEADACHE: Starbucks slipped 1.9 percent to $65.67 after the company's forecasts fell short of analyst expectations. Wholesale club company Costco also dropped in early trading following its quarter report, as the stock lost 6.4 percent to $212.10.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 1.6 percent to $51.73 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, dropped 0.7 percent to $61.03 a barrel in London.

BONDS: Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note remained at 2.90 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 113.63 yen from 113.60 yen. The euro fell to $1.1286 from $1.1367. The British pound slipped to $1.2550 from $1.2660.

(BE)