US STOCKS fell yesterday, with the S&P 500 trading in its tightest daily range in nearly a month, weighed by earnings-related selling in Wal-Mart and a drop in materials stocks on concerns about China’s economic health.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 33.7 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 17,511.48, the S&P 500 lost 5.56 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 2,096.88 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 32.35 points, or 0.64 per cent, to 5,059.35.
The materials sector was the largest decliner among the top 10 industry sectors with a 0.7 per cent decline. Freeport McMoRan fell 3.1 percent to $9.92.
Wal-Mart reduced its outlook for the balance of the year. The retailer expects earnings per share for the fiscal year between $4.40 and $4.70, down from previous guidance between $4.70 and $5.05. The retailer’s shares were down about three per cdent to $69.75 and was the Dow’s biggest loser.
Home Depot posted better-than-expected same-store sales, and its shares ended 2.59 per cent higher.
TJX jumped 7.2 per cent to close at a record high of $76.78 after same-store sales beat estimates.
UnitedHealth Group added 1.36 per cent to end at $125.50 and Microsoft was up 0.55 per cent to $47.27.
Cisco Systems declined 1.99 per cent to end at $28.25 and Walt Disney was down 1.93 per cent to $106.94 after Wells Fargo cut its rating on the stock and five other media companies, including CBS. CBS fell 1.4 per cent to $49.35 at the close.