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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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