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Overnight Markets: US stocks fall for third day after mixed data

Shares declined in response to a mixed batch of economic reports, which showed a slower-than-forecast growth in service industries and a rebound in new orders for factory goods.

Overnight Markets: US stocks fall for third day after mixed data

Wall Street continued its decline on Monday after a mixed batch of economic reports, which showed a slower-than-forecast growth in service industries and a rebound in new orders for factory goods.

The Dow Jones industrial average declined 45 points or 0.27%, to end at 16,425. The S&P 500 lost five points or 0.25%, to finish at 1,827. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 18 points or 0.44%, to close at 4,114.

Shares fell after two measures of activity in the services sector showed sluggish growth in December, indicating the economic recovery remains modest. However, a separate report showed factory orders increased as expected in November.

Apparel retailer Men's Wearhouse (MW.N) gained 2.2% after it mounted a hostile bid for rival Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (JOSB.O) with an increased offer, days after the smaller rival raised its buyout defenses. Jos. A Bank shares climbed 4.5%.

Twitter shares fell 3.9% after being downgraded by Morgan Stanley.  EBay Inc. slid 2.8% after Morgan Stanley cut the online auction company to equalweight from overweight.

Telecom sector gained the most after T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS.N) said it is buying wireless airwave licenses from Verizon Wireless to improve its high-speed network in a $3.3 billion deal. T-Mobile shares shot up 3.7% while Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) rose 0.6%.

Ford Motor Co (F.N) rose 0.5% after its local partners boosted sales in China by nearly 50% last year.

Solar panel shares also garnered attention. ReneSola (SOL.N) advanced 3.9% after the company secured a contract to supply solar panels to a solar project developer based in Japan. SolarCity (SCTY.O) jumped 7.3% after Goldman Sachs added the stock to its "conviction buy" list.

First Solar Inc. lost 9.7% for the biggest drop in the S&P 500. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analyst Brian Lee cut the stock to sell from buy, saying the company’s valuation may contract as earnings decline.

In Asia, stocks oscillated between gains and losses on Tuesday after a report showed US service industries expanded less than expected and as the yen pared yesterday’s advance.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 0.1% to 139 as of 10:53 a.m. in Tokyo after rising as much as 0.2%. Japan’s Topix index slipped 0.5% while the yen fell 0.1% versus the dollar after rising 0.6% yesterday.

South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.3%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.4% as data showed the nation had a smaller-than-expected trade deficit in November.

New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained 0.1%. Singapore’s Straits Times Index was little changed and Taiwan’s Taiex index rose 0.5%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.2%, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.3%.

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