Wall Street stumbled Friday after a key survey showed manufacturing unexpectedly contracted in November for the first time in more than three years.
Stocks and the dollar were socked after the Institute for Supply Management said its index on manufacturing fell to 49.5 from 51.2 in October.
The report, based on a survey of corporate purchasing managers, was seen by some on Wall Street as possibly indicating that the Federal Reserve might have overshot the mark in more than two years of interest rate hikes that ended in June.
“This is just additional confirmation that the economy is not only slowing but quite possibly going into a recession,” said Hugh Moore, a partner with investment firm Guerite Advisors.
Moore said an ISM number below 50 has preceded every U.S. recession since the 1960s.
Bonds rose, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note falling to an 11-month low of 4.43 percent from 4.46 percent late Thursday.
The weak manufacturing snapshot comes after a report Thursday from Chicago-area corporate purchasing managers that indicated business activity in the Midwest slowed faster than anticipated.