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Overnight Markets: Wall Street down ahead of US employment report

Overnight Markets: Wall Street down ahead of US employment report

Wall Street declined on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 retreating from Monday's record closing levels, as investors awaited a European Central Bank decision on stimulus measures and a report on American employment in May.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 21 points or 0.13%, to end at 16,722. The S&P 500 inched down just one point to 1,924. The Nasdaq Composite dropped three points or 0.07%, to 4,234.

In the latest economic data, April factory orders increased 0.7%, topping forecasts. Separately, euro-area inflation slowed more than economists forecast in May, cranking up pressure on the ECB to deploy measures as soon as this week to kindle prices and drive growth.

With ECB President Mario Draghi warning about the risk of a negative price spiral, the Governing Council is considering measures from negative interest rates to conditional liquidity for banks.

Google Inc (GOOGL.O) shares fell 1.7%, weighing on the Nasdaq. Semiconductor stocks ranked among the market's leaders. The sector rallied after Skyworks Solutions Inc (SWKS.O) raised its earnings and revenue outlook, driving its stock up 6%. Broadcom Corp (BRCM.O), up 3%, also gave chipmakers a lift.

Automakers attracted attention after both General Motors Co (GM.N) and Ford Motor Co (F.N) reported May sales that topped expectations. GM shares rose 1.1%, while Ford's stock gained 0.7%.

Hillshire Brands (HSH.N) shares rose 9.5% after poultry producer Pilgrim's Pride Corp (PPC.O) raised its offer to buy Hillshire, known for its Jimmy Dean sausages, and topped an offer from poultry rival Tyson Foods Inc (TSN.N). Hillshire said it would talk with both parties. Pilgrim's stock fell 2.2%, while Tyson fell 3%.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. dropped 15% after cutting its earnings forecast because of mounting costs and slow first-quarter sales.

Quiksilver Inc. slumped 41% after the surfwear retailer posted a wider loss than analysts had predicted.

In Asia, shares declined on Wednesday as investors await a report on US jobs and a decision from the European Central Bank on monetary policy.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) slid 0.2% to 143 as of 12:29 p.m. in Hong Kong. Japan’s Topix index gained 0.3%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.3% as a report showed gross domestic product rose 1.1% from the previous quarter, beating economist forecasts. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index was little changed. South Korea’s market is closed for a holiday.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 0.6%. Taiwan’s Taiex Index added 0.1% and Singapore’s Straits Times Index declined 0.4%.

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