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US: Stocks retreat from records as retail shares fall


[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks retreated Monday, ending a four-day streak of record closes for the Dow, as nervousness over the holiday shopping season hit shares of leading retailers.

Analysts said anxiety about the "Black Friday" launch of the holiday season, coupled with profit-taking, prompted losses following the big stock rally in the wake of Donald Trump's presidential election win Nov 8.

"This is basically profit taking," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial.

"We've been high for a lot of days, so I think it is just a little a bit of a pause." The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.3 per cent to 19,097.90.

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The broad-based S&P 500 fell 0.5 per cent to 2,201.72, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.6 per cent at 5,368.81.

Adobe reported that online sales jumped on Black Friday by nearly 18 per cent to US$5.3 billion. But analysts described disappointing buzz around weekend traffic at stores.

"There's some chatter that perhaps it could have been more robust," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.

Amazon lost 1.7 per cent, Best Buy 2.7 per cent, Macy's 2.3 per cent and Target 1.1 per cent.

Banking shares, which have enjoyed big gains in the wake of Mr Trump's election, fell back. JPMorgan Chase lost 0.7 per cent, Bank of America 2.6 per cent and Citigroup 2.3 per cent.

Google parent Alphabet rose 0.9 per cent following a Morgan Stanley report that recommended buying shares in part due to expectations of strong sales for its Pixel smartphone.