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US: Stocks end lower amid bond market volatility


[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks finished lower on Wednesday as worries over higher US Treasury bond yields offset Verizon's US$4.4 billion takeover of AOL.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 36.94 points (0.20 per cent) to 18,068.23.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 6.21 (0.29 per cent) at 2,099.12, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 17.38 (0.35 per cent) at 4,976.19.

US stocks fell sharply early in the season on spiking bond yields, but cut those losses later in the day as yields retreated a bit.

"The market is sort of catching its breath today and waiting for some data tomorrow," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at S&P Capital IQ.

Key data Wednesday include the US retail sales report for April.

AOL shot up 18.6 per cent on news the Internet pioneer would be bought by Verizon in an effort to boost the telecom giant's presence in online media and advertising. Verizon fell 0.4 per cent.

Oil-services companies benefited from higher crude prices. Halliburton added 0.6 per cent, Transocean rose 3.3 per cent and Weatherford International advanced 1.5 per cent.

Apparel retailer Gap lost 3.8 per cent as global comparable sales in April 2015 tumbled 12 per cent compared with last year.

Pall, which manufacturers filtration and separation equipment, surged 19.4 per cent on a report that the company could be acquired for US$13 billion or more. Potential buyers include Danaher Corp. and Thermo Fisher Scientific, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Insurer PartnerRe gained 0.8 per cent as the Italian investment firm Exor raised its bid for the company from US$6.4 billion to US$6.8 billion.

Cloud computing company Rackspace Hosting plummeted 13.5 per cent after reporting that first-quarter net income rose 11.8 per cent to US$28.4 million. Analysts cited a disappointing sales outlook.

Bond prices advanced. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury dipped to 2.25 per cent from 2.28 per cent Monday, while the 30-year dropped to 3.02 per cent from 3.05 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.