North American markets will look abroad Tuesday to Europe, China and Saudi Arabia for further clues to the world economy’s future. Before markets closed Monday, economic data from Europe triggered some worries over global growth. Europe’s manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to an 83-month low of 45.6 in September, down from 47 in August. In particular, Germany’s PMIs were their worst in a decade. Despite fears, U.S. markets basically closed flat. The Dow was up 0.06% to 26,949, while the S&P was down 0.01% at 2,991 and the NASDAQ finished 0.06% lower at 8,112. The TSX closed 0.19% lower at 16,867 even though StatsCan reported that Canadian wholesale sales rose in July 1.7% to $65.4 billion. Elsewhere, there remains a wait-and-see attitude towards the US-China trade talks as well as the Saudis rebuilding their oil output. The Saudis claims they will finish next week, but others predict it will take months.
Meanwhile, FedEx‘s mute outlook issued last week continues to weigh on the stock and haunt the minds of investors who fear the US-China trade war could last longer than they expected. FedEx closed Monday down 2.09% to $145.67. Better news came from American Express which announced buybacks of up to 120 million shares and a 10% dividend increase. AmEx closed 1.23% higher at $118.24.