US stocks take a late tumble as retail suffering continues – U.S. News & World Report

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By MARLEY JAY, AP Markets Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — A late slump Friday pulled U.S. stocks to their third straight weekly loss. Companies that make clothing, food and household goods dropped on more bad news from retailers, and energy companies fell with the price of oil.

Stocks started falling just before noon and continued to slump the rest of the day. Machinery and equipment companies took some of the biggest losses. Retailers fell again after Nordstrom and J.C. Penney became the latest department store operators to report plunging first-quarter sales. Bond prices jumped and yields fell, which hurt bank stocks.

“The rebound and recovery rally has largely run its course,” said Mike Ryan, chief investment strategist for UBS Wealth Management Americas. With investors worrying about weak corporate profits, the health of the global economy and the Federal Reserve’s plans, Ryan said “It’s going to be more of a grind” in the coming months.

The Dow Jones industrial average gave up 185.18 points, or 1.1 percent, to 17,535.32. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 17.50 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,046.61. The Nasdaq composite index lost 19.65 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,717.68.

The S&P 500 has fallen 2.2 percent over the last three weeks, bringing the index back almost to breakeven for the year.

Wrapping up a brutal week, Nordstrom gave retailers yet another gut punch when it slashed its annual projections and said a key measure of sales fell for the first time in almost seven years. Nordstrom stock tumbled $6.07, or 13.4 percent, to $39.16 and hit a four-year low. J.C. Penney’s and Dillard’s also reported results that came up short of analysts’ estimates.

A Commerce Department released Friday confirmed that consumers are spending more, just not at department stores. Sales at those stores have fallen 2 percent over the last year while online and catalog sales have jumped 10 percent. Nordstrom tumbled 19 percent this week, while Macy’s and Kohl’s, which reported first-quarter results earlier in the week, fell 17 percent and 14 percent, respectively.

“It’s been a very challenging week for retailers,” said Rob Samuels, a UBS Wealth Management strategist. He said consumers are spending money on home improvement goods and trips and other items, but they’re not spending as much on clothes. And competition to department stores just keeps growing, as shoppers turn to smaller web-based brands.

“It’s not just Amazon anymore,” he said.

Consumer stocks slumped after advancing on Thursday. Wal-Mart gave up $1.91, or 2.8 percent, to $64.94 and Costco sank $2.22, or 1.5 percent, to $144.50. PepsiCo fell after investment firm Trian disclosed that it had sold its stake in the company. The beverage maker lost $1.92, or 1.8 percent, to $104.18.

U.S. government bond prices jumped in the afternoon, and the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note dipped to 1.70 percent from 1.76 percent. When bond yields fall it tends to hurt banks, since rates on many kinds of long-term loans such as mortgages are tied to bond yields.

Wells Fargo slid 96 cents, or 2 percent, to $48.24. Bank of America declined 2 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $13.88 and Citigroup fell 89 cents, or 2 percent, to $43.11.

Benchmark U.S. oil fell 49 cents, or 1 percent, to $46.21 a barrel in New York, while Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, lost 2 cents to $47.83 a barrel in London. That pulled energy stocks down. Exxon Mobil lost $1.01, or 1.1 percent, to $88.66 and Murphy Oil fell $1.21, or 4 percent, to $29.14.

The Commerce Department report showed that total retail sales in the U.S. improved in April, suggesting spending might have rebounded after a weak first quarter. Retail sales have climbed 3 percent over the last year.

Graphics chip and processor maker Nvidia surpassed Wall Street forecasts in the first quarter, and its stock jumped $5.41, or 15.2 percent, to $40.98.

Shake Shack’s profit and sales beat estimates, in part because consumers snapped up its new fried chicken sandwich. The burger chain raised its estimates for sales and said it will open more stores than it previously planned. The stock gained $3.34, or 9.7 percent, to $37.60.

Metals prices were little changed. Gold rose $1.50 to $1,262.70 an ounce. Silver added 3 cents to $17.13 an ounce. Copper remained at $2.07 a pound.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline inched up to $1.59 a gallon. Heating oil rose 1 cent to $1.40 a gallon. Natural gas lost 6 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $2.10 per 1,000 cubic feet.

The euro fell to $1.1307 from $1.1373 and the dollar slid to 108.63 yen from 109.14 yen.

Germany’s DAX rose 0.9 percent and the CAC-40 in France gained 0.3 percent. The FTSE 100 in Britain was 0.6 percent higher. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 255 index lost 1.4 percent and South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.5 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1 percent.


AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at His work can be found at

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