Stocks slip, led by declines in Boeing and other industrials

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks edged lower Wednesday morning as Boeing and other industrial companies took losses. Banks also fell, and utilities rose. Department stores and other retailers lost ground after the Commerce Department said retail sales declined in February.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index lost 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 2,763 as of 10:22 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 79 points, or 0.3 percent, to 24,927. The Nasdaq composite remained at 7,510. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks stayed at 1,592.

ECONOMIC INDICATORS: Retail sales dipped 0.1 percent last month as car sales declined, and so did purchases at gas stations and department stores. Macy’s lost 46 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $28.98 and Kohl’s slid $1.27, or2 percent, to $62.84. Dollar Tree lost 95 cents, or 1 percent, to $93.47.

The Commerce Department said shoppers spent more money online and at catalog retailers, and Amazon edged higher. Spending at restaurants, clothiers and building materials stores also increased.

Meanwhile the Labor Department said wholesale prices rose 0.2 percent in February, a similar pace as the last few months. The agency said prices for services including transportation and warehousing increased. It’s the latest sign that inflation remains in check.

SIGNET TARNISHED: Signet Jewelers plunged after the jewelry retailer gave profit and sales forecasts that were weaker than analysts expected. Signet also said it intends to cut at least $200 million in spending and will sell its non-prime credit receivables. It will take a loss of about $170 million on that sale. The stocks dropped $7.80, or 16.3 percent, to $40.11.

CHECK ENGINE LIGHT: Tesla declined after Bloomberg News reported that a second senior finance executive resigned. Bloomberg said Treasurer Susan Repo left to become chief financial officer at another company. A week ago the electric car maker said Chief …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

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