US stocks closed lower on Tuesday, halting a two-day gain, after several major retailers from Staples Inc. to Urban Outfitters Inc. posted worse-than-estimated results and smaller companies slid.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 137 points, or 0.8%, to close at 16,374. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 12 points, or 0.7%, to 1,872. The Nasdaq composite fell 28 points, or 0.7%, to 4,096.
Staples fell 13% after the office supply chain said its earnings fell sharply in the latest quarter. Dick's Sporting Goods plunged 18% after its earnings and revenue fell short of what investors were expecting.
Urban Outfitters sank 8.8% as earnings missed forecasts. Caterpillar Inc. led industrial shares lower after reporting a steepening decline in retail machine sales.
On the positive side, Home Depot Inc. rose 1.9% for the biggest gain in the Dow. While the company posted first-quarter profit that trailed some analysts’ estimates, chief financial Officer Carol Tome said it expects revenue lost due to the grim winter will be recouped this quarter.
Caterpillar lost 3.6% after global sales fell 13% in the three months through April compared with the same period a year earlier.
Amazon.com Inc. rose 1.5%, while Netflix Inc. advanced 2% for the largest gain in the S&P 500.
Carnival Corp. (CCL) climbed 0.9% after saying P&O Cruises Australia, one of its 10 brands, will add two ships to its fleet next year.
Ophthotech Corp. jumped 24% after the drug developer granted Novartis AG the exclusive rights to commercialise its Fovista treatment in markets outside the US.
In Asia, shares declined for a fourth day on Wednesday after the yen strengthened ahead of a Bank of Japan decision on monetary policy today.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.5% to 138 as of 9:41 a.m. in Hong Kong. Japan’s Topix index slid 0.5% as the yen traded at 101. The nation posted a trade deficit of ¥808.9 billion ($8 billion) for April, data showed today.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 0.8% as consumer confidence fell to its lowest level since August 2011. South Korea’s Kospi index retreated 0.3% and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index fell 0.7%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 0.8%, Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 0.2% and the Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.8%. Taiwan’s Taiex Index was little changed.