NEW YORK — U.S. stocks edged lower Tuesday on more evidence that growth in China, the world's second-largest economy, is slowing. Chinese trade data showed that imports plunged more than analysts were expecting in September. Ryder Systems, a transportation company, fell sharply after lowering its profit forecast for the third quarter.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell two points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,015 as of 10:17 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 13 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,116. The Nasdaq composite dropped four points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,834.
CHINA WEAKNESS: China's imports fell in September by an unexpectedly wide margin of 20.4 percent from a year ago in a new sign of weakness in the country's economy. Customs data showed Chinese purchases of foreign goods worsened from August's 5.5 percent decline. The drop indicates anemic demand despite repeated stimulus efforts aimed at reversing a decline in economic growth. Sales of Chinese goods to foreign markets fell 3.7 percent, an improvement from the previous month's 13.8 percent contraction.
SLOW RYDER: Ryder Systems was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500 after the company cut its earnings forecast for the third quarter. The trucking and logistics company blamed lower-than-forecast growth at a unit that provides services to companies that own and operate truck fleets.
EUROPE'S DAY: Stocks fell in Europe. Britain's FTSE 100 declined 0.4 percent and Germany's DAX slid 0.9 percent. France's CAC 40 dropped 1 percent.
BEER BUZZ: SABMiller, the world's second-largest brewer, jumped 9 percent in London after the company accepted a takeover bid by AB InBev, the world's largest beer maker. The U.S.-listed stock of AB InBev, which makes Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois, rose $2.31, or 2.1 percent, to $113.80.
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.1 percent and South Korea's Kospi was down 0.1 percent. China's Shanghai composite index finished 0.2 percent higher, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index shed 0.6 percent.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 37 cents to $47.47 ar barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
BOND AND CURRENCIES: Government bond prices rose, pushing the yield on the 10-year Treasury note down to 2.06 percent. The euro strengthened to $1.1363, while the dollar weakened to 119.85 yen.