US stocks close lower amid mixed data

New York: US stocks ended lower, as Wall Street digested a batch of mixed data, including an unexpected fall in US retail sales in September, stoking worries over a potential economic downturn in the country.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 22.82 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 27,001.98. The S&P 500 dipped 5.99 points, or 0.20 per cent, to 2,989.69. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 24.52 points, or 0.30 per cent, to 8,124.18, Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.

Six of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors traded lower around market close, with the energy sector down 1.44 per cent, leading the losers.

More than half of the blue-chip stocks in the Dow extended losses around the closing bell, with shares of Exxon Mobile and Chevron down over 1.71 per cent and 1.03 per cent respectively, leading the laggards.

However, the continuing release of stronger-than-expected earnings results from a batch of corporates has given the market a leg up, with shares of Bank of America up 1.48 per cent.

On the economic front, US retail and food services sales for September declined 0.3 per cent to US $525.6 billion from the previous month, marking their first retreat in seven month.

The disappointing reading came as household spending pulled back primarily on building materials, motor vehicles and gasoline, according to the US Census Bureau on Wednesday.

The combined value of distributive trade sales and manufacturers’ shipments for August rose 0.2 per cent from the previous month to be estimated at US $1,463.9 billion, the US Census Bureau reported on Wednesday.

Manufacturers’ and trade inventories were estimated at an end-of-month level of US $2,042.1 billion, virtually unchanged from July.

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