US stocks declined for a third day on Tuesday, as investors took profits amid signs of a weak holiday shopping season.
The Dow Jones industrial average declined 94 points, or 0.59%, to end at 15,915. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell six points, or 0.32%, to finish at 1,795. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped eight points, or 0.20%, to close at 4,037.
Investors speculated that the Federal Reserve may move to trim its stimulus earlier than some had anticipated in response to stronger-than-expected data on manufacturing and construction spending on Monday.
Retail and consumer discretionary stocks suffered the most. Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) slipped 2% and was one of the biggest drags on the S&P 500 even as online Cyber Monday sales surged to a record.
Stronger-than-expected November auto sales failed to lift carmakers. Ford Motor (F.N) shares slid 2.9% and General Motors (GM.N) dropped 2.5%.amid concerns that pent-up demand would no longer support the pace of sales gains beyond 2014.
On the positive side, Tesla Motors (TSLA.O) jumped 16.5% on heavy volume after Morgan Stanley named it a "top pick".
Elsewhere, Yum Brands Inc (YUM.N) fell 2.7% after it said November sales at established KFC restaurants in China failed to grow despite a successful promotion. It forecast a return to earnings-per-share growth in 2014.
Apple Inc (AAPL.O) rose 2.7% after UBS upgraded the iPhone maker's stock to "buy."
Krispy Kreme (KKD) Doughnuts Inc. plunged 20% after quarterly revenue missed analysts’ estimates.
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. rallied 5.8% after Engaged Capital LLC, which owned 400,000 shares as of 30 August, recommended the clothing retailer consider selling itself.
In Asia, shares declined on Wednesday after the yen strengthened and investors awaited US jobs data this week that may provide further evidence as to when the Fed will reduce stimulus.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.8% to 141 as of 11:12 a.m. in Hong Kong. Japan’s Topix index lost 1.5% after the yen yesterday snapped a four-day slide. The Nikkei 225 retreated 2.1% as Toyota fell 1.3%.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.2%. South Korea’s Kospi index dropped 0.6% and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index fell 1.2%.