* China growth data drags on commodity prices
* Gold slumps to 2-year low below $1,400 per ounce
* Dish Network offers $25.5 billion for Sprint
* Indexes off: Dow 0.7 pct, S&P 0.9 pct, Nasdaq 1 pct
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, April 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell for a second
straight session on Monday, pressured by weaker-than-expected
growth figures in China that sparked a broad selloff across
markets, including oil and other commodities.
Among the biggest declining S&P groups, the energy sector
index was off 2.7 percent and the materials sector index
was down 2.7 percent.
"Liquidation is under way across equities and commodities,
sparked by fears that the global economy is set to slow," said
Andrew Wilkinson, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak & Co
in New York.
The Chinese data weighed heavily on oil, with U.S. crude
futures down 2.9 percent to $88.44.
Chevron lost 2.1 percent to $117.46 and
was one of the biggest drags on the Dow.
The SPDR Gold Shares ETF lost more than 7 percent to
$133.20 as gold prices slumped to a 2-year low below $1,400 per
Among the most active mining stocks, Freeport-McMoRan Copper
& Gold Inc fell 7 percent to $29.69 while Newmont Mining
was off 4.9 percent to $34.58. Freeport was also
downgraded to "sell" from "neutral" by Citigroup.
The PHLX Gold/Silver index tumbled nearly 9 percent
and the PHLX oil service sector index fell nearly 4
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 104.17
points, or 0.70 percent, at 14,760.89. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was down 14.31 points, or 0.90 percent, at
1,574.54. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 34.87
points, or 1.06 percent, at 3,260.08.
A softer pace of growth in New York state manufacturing
added to recent signs the global economy may be slowing.
The market had been very resilient in its run-up to record
highs last week. But Monday's decline put the broad S&P 500
index on track for its first two-day losing streak in a month.
Data showed China's annual rate of growth eased back to 7.7
percent from the 7.9 percent of the previous quarter and below
economists' forecast for an 8.0 percent
Hurting home building stocks, an industry report showed U.S.
homebuilder sentiment waned for the third month in a row in
On a positive note, Citigroup shares advanced 1.9
percent to $45.66 after reporting a higher-than-expected 31
percent rise in first-quarter profit.
Sprint Nextel Corp shares jumped 15.8 percent to $7.20
after Dish Network Corp, the No. 2 U.S. satellite
television provider, offered to buy Sprint for $25.5 billion in
cash and stock. The offer could thwart the proposed acquisition
of Sprint by Japan's SoftBank Corp.
Dish Network shares fell 7.4 percent to $34.84.
Genetic testing equipment maker Life Technologies Corp
has agreed to a $13.6 billion cash buyout by Thermo
Fisher Scientific Inc, in one of the year's biggest
corporate takeovers. Life Technologies shares climbed 7.7
percent to $73.25 and Thermo Fisher advanced 2.3 percent to
Earnings season heats up this week, with 74 companies in the
S&P 500 scheduled to report, including American Express
Co, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and