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US: Stocks dip as Walmart earnings disappoint


[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks finished lower on Tuesday following a mixed batch of earnings from retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores, which tumbled 3.4 per cent after slashing its profit forecast.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 33.84 points (0.19 per cent) at 17,511.34.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 5.52 (0.26 per cent) at 2,096.92, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 32.35 (0.64 per cent) to 5,059.35.

Dow member Walmart led the blue-chip index downward after higher operating costs and the strong dollar dented second-quarter earnings and prompted it to trim its full-year forecast.

But fellow Dow component Home Depot jumped 2.6 per cent after lifting its full-year profit forecast to US$5.31- 5.36 per share from US$5.24- 5.27 per share as second-quarter sales and net income rose compared with the year-ago period.

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"Things are a bit hot and cold," said Gregori Volokhine, president of Meeschaert Capital Markets. "The housing sector is pulling up the market, but overall consumption remains uncertain and a source of unease for the US economy." TJX Companies, which owns Marshall's, TJ Maxx and other lower-priced department store chains, jumped 7.2 per cent as second-quarter net income came in at 80 cents per share, four cents above expectations.

Urban Outfitters, a youth-oriented apparel retailer, fell 2.1 per cent as second-quarter net income slipped about one percent to US$66.8 million. Urban Outfitters faces a "tepid demand environment," said Credit Suisse.

Dick's Sporting Goods, which sells fitness and sports gear, rose 3.8 per cent after raising its annual earnings forecast by a penny to US$3.13- 3.21 per share from US$3.12- 3.20.

Chip company Micron Technology fell 4.9 per cent after an investor day drew mixed reviews. Morgan Stanley said the company's upbeat outlook on some of its businesses "does not change our tactically negative view on the segment and the stock."

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.20 per cent from 2.17 per cent Monday, while the 30-year advanced to 2.86 per cent from 2.82 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.


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