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US: Stocks retreat from records

[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks retreated from record peaks on Tuesday, losing ground after lackluster US auto sales.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 18,203.54, down 85.09 (0.47 per cent).

The broad-based S&P 500 fell 9.61 (0.45 per cent) to 2,107.78, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 28.20 (0.56 per cent) to 4,979.90.

Ford Motor fell 2.4 per cent after reporting a 1.79 per cent drop in February auto sales compared with a year ago.

Toyota and Fiat Chrysler's US unit were among the other firms to report lower-than-expected sales, suggesting shoppers were put off by cold weather.

Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities, called the market action "a healthy pause" after the surge in recent weeks.

"People are using today to maybe take some profits off the table," he said.

AFP