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US: Stocks dip as retailers retreat


[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks fell early Thursday following disappointing holiday sales from Macy's and some other retailers as a four-session rally showed signs of fatigue.

About five minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had lost 0.5 percent to 23,752.56.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 0.7 per cent to 2,567.13, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.9 per cent to 6,897.01.

Macy's plummeted 17.5 per cent after cutting its full-year profit forecast following a holiday shopping season that the company said began promisingly but lost momentum.

Other retailers also lost ground including Target, which fell 4.7 per cent, and Kohl's, which lost 9.7 per cent. Bucking the retail decline, Bed Bath & Beyond surged 4.9 per cent after reporting results.

Even before the mixed news from retailers, investors were primed to pause in the stock recovery, analyst Patrick O'Hare said.

"The inference is that the market is overbought on a short-term basis and due to wrestle with some profit-taking efforts," he said.

Among other companies, American Airlines dived 9.8 percent as it cut its profit forecast range and some other key financial projections following the key holiday travel season.

Ford fell 2.5 per cent after announcing a major restructuring in Europe that will include job cuts and the phasing out of some car models that are not selling well.


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