Wall St slips before reports - New York Report

US STOCKS eased yesterday as weaker-than-expected econ­omic data spurred con­cerns over growth ahead of tomorrow’s jobs report and first-quarter earnings.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 77.94 points, or 0.44 per cent, to 17,698.18, the S&P 500 lost 8.2 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 2,059.69 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 20.66 points, or 0.42 per cent, to 4,880.23.

Shares of Monsanto were up 3.9 per cent at $116.96 and the stock was among the biggest positive influences on the S&P 500 after its results and forecast.

Energy shares also gained along with oil prices. ConocoPhillips was up 1.2 per cent at $63.02.

Shares of car makers also declined after reporting March sales. General Motors was down two per cent at $36.74 while Ford fell 1.4 per cent at $15.91 as sales dipped at both companies.