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Overnight Markets: US stocks decline, snapping three-day rally

Wal-Mart fell 3% after the world's largest retailer reported a lower quarterly profit and gave a tepid sales outlook.

 
Overnight Markets: US stocks decline, snapping three-day rally

US stocks declined on Thursday, ending a three-day winning streak, as banks, technology and consumer shares lost momentum after bolstering the rally.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 40 points, or 0.25%, to 16,413, the S&P 500 lost nine points, or 0.47%, to 1,918 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 47 points, or 1.03%, to 4,488.

Eight of the 10 major S&P sectors finished negative, led by a 0.9% decline in energy, which had helped drive the recent rally.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc fell 3% after the world's largest retailer reported a lower quarterly profit and gave a tepid sales outlook. The stock was the biggest percentage loser in the Dow index.

After the market closed, department store operator Nordstrom Inc reported lower-than-expected quarterly profit and its shares sank 7%.

Economic data provided some solace for US prospects. Data showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, pointing to labour market strength.

Declines were limited by IBM, which rose 5% after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to "overweight."

Corporate earnings were mixed. Nvidia climbed 8.6% after the chipmaker's revenue beat expectations.

But Dish Network fell 6.3% after it reported lower net income in 2015 amid a drop in pay-TV subscriptions. Perrigo slid 10.2% after the drugmaker's adjusted profit missed estimates.

Energy producers slipped after the strongest rally since October, even as oil settled higher. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Newfield Exploration Co. fell more than 8.5%. Marathon Oil Corp. sank 6.5% after reporting a fourth straight quarterly loss.

Among discretionary shares, Netflix Inc. dropped 4.5% after a 9.7% gain in the previous three sessions. Amazon.com Inc. declined 1.7%, halting a five-day advance which was the longest since October.

In Asia, shares fell on Friday in afternoon session as a renewed weakening in the price of oil dampened sentiment.

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