17 July 2019

Wall St. Dragged Down by Retail

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U.S. stock indexes fell sharply on Friday, weighed down by consumer retail and technology stocks after disappointing forecasts from Cisco and department store chains for the key holiday shopping season. The Dow and the Nasdaq were off nearly 1 percent, while the S&P 500's decline was curtailed as the index held steady near its 100-day moving average.

Dow component Cisco fell 6 percent to $26.17 after it gave a weak forecast, citing a slowdown in order growth and weak spending outside the United States. The stock was the second-biggest drag on the S&P and the Nasdaq. Oracle fell 3.2 percent, Microsoft 1.4 percent and Apple slid 2.1 percent.

Data showed U.S. retail sales rose less than expected in October, suggesting a slowdown in consumer spending that could temper expectations of a strong pickup in fourth-quarter economic growth. The weak data follows disappointing reports from department store chains in the past two days. Macy's and Nordstrom in particular have both reported disappointing results and lowered their full-year forecasts.

Consumer stocks have been one bright spot this year as weak commodity prices, fears of a global slowdown and the anticipation of a U.S. rate hike have hit most stocks, especially those of materials, energy and industrial companies. While the consumer staples sector .SPLRCS moved into the red for the year earlier this week, consumer discretionary .SPLRCD stocks are still the best performing of the 10 major S&P sectors, up 8.4 percent this year.

At 11:14 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 153.06 points, or 0.88 percent, at 17,295.01. The S&P 500 was down 15.8 points, or 0.77 percent, at 2,030.17 and the Nasdaq Composite index was down 50.86 points, or 1.02 percent, at 4,954.22. Seven of the 10 major S&P sectors were lower, with the consumer discretionary sector's .SPLRCD 1.84 percent fall leading the decliners. Technology stocks .SPLRCT were down 1.5 percent.

Mylan MYL.N jumped 13.5 percent to $49.08 after its $26 billion hostile bid for Perrigo collapsed. Perrigo fell 6 percent to $147.08. Mylan was the biggest influence on the S&P and Nasdaq. Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,841 to 1,071. On the Nasdaq, 1,553 issues fell and 1,029 advanced. The S&P 500 index showed no new 52-week highs and 31 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 15 new highs and 142 new lows.

Click here to access the full article on Reuters.

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