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Overnight Markets: Wall Street retreats as retailers decline

Overnight Markets: Wall Street retreats as retailers decline

Wall Street declined on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 snapping up a four-session winning streak, as losses among retailers overshadowed gains in phone shares and utilities ahead of a report on Thursday that may show the economy contracted in the first quarter.

The Dow Jones industrial average declined 42 points or 0.25%, to 16,633. The S&P 500 lost two points or 0.11%, to end at 1,910. The Nasdaq Composite fell 12 points or 0.28%, to 4,225.

A report by the Commerce Department today may show the US economy shrank 0.5% in the first quarter, following a preliminary estimate of 0.1% annualised growth, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. GDP increased at a 2.6% annualised pace in the previous period.

Retailers suffered, with the Dollar General, an owner of discount stores, declining 3% as Deutsche Bank AG lowered the stock’s rating to hold from buy.

Lowe’s (LOW) fell 2.2% after Canaccord Genuity Corp. analysts told clients to sell shares of the home improvement retailer. However, Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (KORS.N) climbed 1.3% following the company's quarterly earnings as sales of its handbags and watches surged in North America.

Allergan, the maker of the Botox anti-wrinkle drug, fell 5.4% after Valeant added more cash to the bid in an effort to win backing from the target and its investors.

Toll Brothers climbed 2.1% after the home builder has continued raising prices and boosting sales in the costlier New York and California markets.

Twitter jumped 11% after Nomura raised its rating on the shares to buy from neutral. 3D Systems Corp. declined 11% after saying it will sell 5.95 million new shares for $317 million.

In Asia, shares oscillated between gains and losses as investors weighed a worse-than-estimated decline in Japan’s retail sales before a report that’s expected to show the US economy contracted last quarter.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose less than 0.1% to 142 as of 10:02 a.m. in Hong Kong. Japan’s Topix index lost 0.3% as the nation’s retail sales fell 13.7% in April from March.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index added 0.1%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.3%. South Korea’s Kospi index slid 0.1%. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index both slipped 0.1%. Taiwan’s Taiex index was little changed. Singapore’s Straits Times Index climbed 0.7%.

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Profile: The opportunity set that attracted Brett Williams to wealth management

Profile: The opportunity set that attracted Brett Williams to wealth management

Brett Williams is best known for helping to build some of the biggest platforms in the IFA market.He made the move over to wealth management to head SEI’s UK business earlier this year in the belief that this is where the best opportunities now lie.

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