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Wall Street dips on gloomy expectations

2019-10-17 HKT 06:38
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  • Analysts said general sentiment is down. File photo: AP
    Analysts said general sentiment is down. File photo: AP
US markets have closed marginally lower following a disappointing retail sales report and questions over Brexit talks and the state of US-China trade relations. The Dow Jones lost 22 points to close at 27,001. The S&P 500 was down 0.2 percent to 2,989, while the Nasdaq dropped 0.3 percent to 8,124.

US retail sales experienced a surprise drop in September, data showed, raising questions about US consumer confidence. Analysts also pointed to doubts about whether revived efforts between British leader Boris Johnson and European Union officials will yield an agreement that can win support in Britain.

Market watchers cited Chinese unhappiness after the US House of Representatives passed a bill defending civil rights in Hong Kong.

Stocks are not "down very much but it suggests to me that some of the euphoria of the last week or so is fading", said FTN Financial's Chris Low. "That's probably partly because in addition to bad retail sales, there are growing doubts about the China trade deal and a Brexit compromise."

Among individual companies, Bank of America climbed 1.5 percent after reporting better-than-expected results on higher profits in consumer banking and most other divisions.

United Airlines gained 2.1 percent as it lifted its full-year profit targets on strong consumer demand.

General Motors won 1.1 percent after it reached a preliminary deal with leaders of the United Auto Workers to end a month-long strike. However, the agreement must be ratified by a majority of the union's members.

Auto suppliers that have been affected by the strike also rallied, with American Axle & Manufacturing rising 2.1 percent, Tenneco 9.1 percent and Adient 2.8 percent.

Petroleum-linked shares had a bad session. Exxon Mobil lost 1.7 percent, Schlumberger 2.6 percent and Apache 1.9 percent. (AFP)