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Overnight Markets: Wall Street closes little changed

Overnight Markets: Wall Street closes little changed

Wall Street closed little changed on Tuesday as declines in Home Depot and other retailers following results offset upbeat US retail sales data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added five points, or 0.02%, to 21,999, the S&P 500 lost one point, or 0.05%, to 2,465 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped seven points, or 0.11%, to 6,333.

Home Depot Inc. and Nike Inc. were the largest decliners, while American Express Co. and Apple Inc. were the biggest gainers on the Dow.

Home Depot's (HD.N) stock was down 2.7% despite reporting strong earnings and raising its forecast as investors appeared to be worried about supply constraints in the housing market.

Shares of smaller rival Lowe's Cos (LOW.N) were down 4.4%. The S&P 500 consumer discretionary index, down 0.9%, also took a hit from a steep fall in the shares of Coach (COH.N) and Advance Auto Parts (AAP.N) after disappointing results. The S&P 500 retail index was down 1.6%.

However, US retail sales recorded their biggest increase in seven months in July as consumers boosted purchases of motor vehicles as well as discretionary spending.

Amazon.com Inc. shares finished down less than 0.1% while traditional retailers closed with steeper losses as shares of Target Corp. ended down 2.6%, Nordstrom Inc. and Kohl’s Corp. shares both closed down 1.5%, and Dollar General Corp. shares fell 3.8%. Bucking the trend, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. shares finished up 0.1%.

General Electric (GE.N) was down 0.9% and fell to an intraday low of $25.10, their lowest point since October 2015.

In Asia, stocks were mixed on Wednesday in morning session as investors digested earnings releases from regional corporates and a resurgent dollar.

Japan's Nikkei 225 edged down 0.09%, while South Korea's Kospi added 0.62% as markets returned from a public holiday.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 erased early gains and declined 0.21%. In Greater China markets were mixed. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was up 0.53% in early trade, but mainland markets were pressured. The Shanghai Composite shed 0.44% and the Shenzhen Composite traded just below the flat line and lower by 0.05%.

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