Stocks fell on Wall Street Friday as investors looked toward upcoming economic reports in China and the U.S. and decided they were likely to be disappointed.
The Chinese government was giving signs that data coming out over the weekend won't be good. The U.S. reported a narrower trade deficit in April, but only because a big drop in imports offset a decline in exports.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 28 points to 12,433 in morning trading. McDonald's led the Dow lower with a loss of $1.84, or 2.1 percent, to $86.54. The fast-food giant reported weakness in overseas sales and warned that economic volatility and rising expenses are pressuring its results.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell four points to 1,311, and the Nasdaq composite fell six points to 2,825.
Energy stocks fell more than the broader market, pulled down by another drop in the price of crude oil. Exxon Mobil fell 79 cents, or 1 percent, to $79.90, and oil field services company Schlumberger lost $1.14 to $63.29.
Markets also fell in Asia. Shanghai's stock index lost a half-percent, the fifth day of losses. Japan's Nikkei fell 2.1 percent.
Chinese leaders have been showing signs of urgency ahead of May trade and industrial data due out this weekend that might be even weaker than earlier pessimistic forecasts. The Chinese government cut interest rates for the first time in four years and has reduced gasoline and diesel prices for the second time in a month.
Over the long run, that will put more money in the pockets of Chinese consumers, but in the short run it's a sign that the government is worried about growth.
In the U.S., wholesale stockpiles grew 0.6 percent in April as sales rose. Economists had been expecting that businesses slowed their restocking of store shelves this year following a big jump in inventory building at the end of last year.
Also on Friday, ahead of what may be a contentious shareholders meeting, Chesapeake Energy Corp. announced that it was selling pipeline assets in three separate deals for a total of more than $4 billion in cash. The stock rose 11 cents to $17.96.
Stocks in Europe fell. The CAC 40 in France was down 1.3 percent at 3,031, the FTSE 100 in Britain dropped 0.8 percent to 5,403, and Germany's DAX fell 0.9 percent to 6,087.
Yields fell on U.S. Treasury notes, a sign that investors want the relative safety of U.S. debt.