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Wall Street Follows China Lower - U.S. Commentary

Wall Street is seeing a modest retreat in the early going Monday, hurt by worries about China. Concerns about the budget sequester, which went into effect late last week, are weighing on the market as well.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 53 points, or 0.4 percent. The Nasdaq has retreated 8 points, or 0.2 percent. The S&P 500 is down 4 points, or 0.3 percent.

China's Shanghai Composite index plunged 3.7 percent in overseas trading today. This was the biggest drop for the index since mid 2011. Data from the country suggested a slowdown in economic momentum.

Specifically, investors digested weak service sector data, which showed growth in China's increasingly important services sector expanded at its slowest pace in five months in February. Meanwhile, Beijing announced a fresh set of measures to curb property speculation.

In corporate news, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway said its quarterly profit climbed 49 percent from last year. The investment vehicle for the famed billionaire benefited from huge derivative gains.

Meanwhile, there is more news out of Yahoo. The Internet giant said it is shutting down 7 unsuccessful products in a move to sharpen its focus on more important business lines. This includes Yahoo Clues and Yahoo Avatars. This is Yahoo's second group of shutdowns since new CEO Marissa Mayer took over.

by RTT Staff Writer

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