Stocks sink on China fears, Dow finishes at five-week low

|By:, SA News Editor

Stocks finished with steep losses as data showing a contraction in China's manufacturing activity sparked worries that the country's recent slowing momentum is carrying over into the new year.

"This is the first time in many weeks that we've seen this kind of across-the-board volatility," one strategist said, as the VIX rose 7.2% for its fourth consecutive advance.

The data triggered a selloff in riskier emerging market shares and currencies, and helped boost prices of Treasurys and gold; the 10-year Treasury yield dropped 9 bps to 2.779%, while and gold rose 1.9% to $1,262.30.

Netflix surged 16.5% after beating earnings estimates and guiding higher, but the broader market failed to respond despite several better than expected quarterly reports.