US stocks slip after discouraging figures on Chinese exports; Chiquita jumps on deal news

The Associated Press

FILE - In this Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, file photo, trader Gregory Rowe, center, works at the post of specialist Joseph Mastrolia, left, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The mood in financial markets steadied Monday, March 10, 2014, despite earlier big losses in Asia following disappointing Chinese and Japanese economic data. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

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By The Associated Press

U.S. stocks are closing slightly lower following disappointing economic news from China and Japan.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index edged down a point to close at 1,877 Monday. It had been down 11 points earlier.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 34 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,418. The Nasdaq composite fell two points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 4,334.

Investors were discouraged by an 18 percent slump in Chinese exports last month, the latest sign of trouble for the world's second-largest economy. Japan lowered its estimate for fourth-quarter economic growth.

In the U.S., Chiquita Brands jumped 11 percent after announcing it had agreed to combine with an Irish fruit supply company.

Bond prices rose slightly. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.78 percent.

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