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Overnight Markets: Wall Street closes flat in light trading

Overnight Markets: Wall Street closes flat in light trading

Wall Street closed little changed on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 inching higher to another record close, though a number of retail stocks traded heavily after reporting results.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 15 points, or 0.09%, to 17,122. The S&P 500 rose 0.1 point, to 2,000.12, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped one point to 4,570. Volume was depressed with some market participants on vacation ahead of the Labour Day long holiday weekend in the US.

Both Tiffany & Co and apparel retailer Express Inc rose after posting quarterly revenue that topped expectations and raising their full-year profit views. Shares of Tiffany rose 1%, while Express jumped 12.7% on volume that easily eclipsed its 50-day average.

Michaels Cos. jumped 9.3% as the arts and crafts retailer reported second-quarter earnings that topped analysts’ estimates.

Best Buy Co Inc was the S&P 500's biggest percentage gainer, up 6.3% after the electronics retailer rebounded from a 6.8% plunge on Tuesday after it forecast a drop in full-year sales.

On the downside, apparel retailer Chico's FAS Inc fell 4.6% after its results. Analog Devices Inc was one of the S&P 500's biggest decliners, off 2.3% a day after reporting third-quarter results.

Digital Ally Inc slumped 19.5% on heavy volume, pulling back after a massive rally that had driven the stock's price up more than 200% in August.

Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. tumbled 14% after the gunmaker cut its full-year sales and profit forecast amid declining demand.

In Asia, stocks outside Japan surged for a third day on Thursday led by telecommunication and technology shares.

The MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index added 0.1% to 515 as of 9:48 a.m. in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.3%. South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.6% to a three year high. The Shanghai Composite Index and Taiwan’s Taiex index both slipped 0.1%. Singapore’s Straits Times Index added 0.3%.

Japan’s Topix index fell 0.5%, ahead of the release tomorrow of industrial output and inflation data for July. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 0.4% and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index added 0.1%.

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