Wall Street lower as Wal-Mart drags, oil pares gains | Reuters

Wall Street lower as Wal-Mart drags, oil pares gains
| Reuters

Wall Street fell late on Thursday morning after a slump in Wal-Mart weighed on consumer stocks, oil prices retreated and sectors that drove the three-day rally gave up some gains.

Eight of the 10 major S&P sectors were lower, led by the 1.14 percent drop in energy shares.

Crude oil prices, whose performance has been tightly tied to the stock market, dropped from session highs after a report showed U.S. crude stocks rose last week. Brent crude was flat.

Wal-Mart slumped 4.4 percent to $63.23 after the retailer reported a lower quarterly profit and gave a lackluster sales outlook. The stock was the biggest drag on the Dow and also dragged down other consumer stocks.

Limiting the losses were shares of IBM, which rose 5.7 percent to $133.35 after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to "overweight" and the company made another health-related acquisition.

"Looks like today is a day of consolidation after a pretty dramatic snapback and it may well be that some short positions were squeezed out of the market in prior days," said Stephen Freedman, Senior Investment Strategist at UBS Wealth Management Americas in New York.

At 11:11 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 35.44 points, or 0.22 percent, at 16,418.39.

The S&P 500 was down 8.76 points, or 0.45 percent, at 1,918.06 and the Nasdaq Composite index was down 33.08 points, or 0.73 percent, at 4,500.99.

A three-day rally, led by financial stocks, boosted the benchmark S&P 500 5.3 percent. But such has been the rout since the start of the year that the index is still down about 6.1 percent in 2016.

Economic data provided some relief. A report showed U.S. jobless claims unexpectedly fell to 262,000 last week, pointing to labor market strength that could keep a Federal Reserve rate hikes on the table this year.

Apple was down 1 percent at $97.10. The iPhone maker announced a recall of travel adapter kits and plugs. The stock was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.

Nvidia was up 9.5 percent at $30.30 after the chipmaker's revenue beat expectations.

Perrigo slid 9.1 percent at $131.89 after the drugmaker's adjusted profit missed estimates.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,529 to 1,309. On the Nasdaq, 1,248 issues rose and 1,238 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed six new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 12 new highs and 21 new lows.

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan and Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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Updated Date: Feb 18, 2016 23:15:11 IST

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