* Chinese exports drop 10 pct in September -report
* Oil prices rebound, help energy shares
* Indexes down: Dow 0.1 pct, S&P 0.1 pct, Nasdaq 0.3 pct
(Updates to late afternoon)
By Caroline Valetkevitch
Oct 13 U.S. stocks were down slightly following
weak Chinese economic data, but indexes recovered in afternoon
trading along with oil prices.
Data showed China's exports fell 10 percent in September,
far worse than markets had expected, while imports unexpectedly
shrank, reviving concerns about the health of the world's
Energy shares pared losses as oil prices ended higher. A
U.S. government report of larger-than-expected draws in diesel
and gasoline helped prices rebound.
"The catalyst, I think, to start getting some trades in was
the oil price stabilizing, and just the fact that short-term we
were oversold," said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at
BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.
The Fed on Wednesday released the minutes of its last
rate-setting meeting that showed several policymakers felt a
move was warranted "relatively soon" if the U.S. economy
continued to strengthen.
The U.S. economy is doing "pretty well" and has a strong
labor market, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said on
Thursday. Harker does not have a vote on monetary policy this
year but will in 2017.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 16.74
points, or 0.09 percent, to 18,127.46, the S&P 500 lost
2.47 points, or 0.12 percent, to 2,136.71 and the Nasdaq
Composite dropped 15.61 points, or 0.3 percent, to
The benchmark S&P 500 had closed below the 2,140 mark on
Thursday, confirming a break below its 100-day moving average,
which had served as technical support over the past month.
Market valuations will be put to test during the earnings
season, with third-quarter profits of S&P 500 companies
currently expected to have fallen 0.7 percent, according to
Thomson Reuters data.
The S&P 500 index is trading at 17 times forward earnings,
compared with its 10-year median of 14.7, according to StarMine
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a
1.67-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.92-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted no new 52-week highs and 6 new lows; the
Nasdaq Composite recorded 22 new highs and 85 new lows.
(Additional reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan and Tanya
Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Nick