views

NEW YORK REPORT

US STOCKS slipped yesterday after weak data from the services sector and private payrolls cooled recent optimism the recession was retreating, but the market finished off its lows as investors ventured into riskier financial shares.<br /><br />The market&rsquo;s decline came on the heels of a four-day rally that had driven the three major US stock indexes to close on Tuesday at their highest levels in nine to 10 months.<br /><br />The services sector contracted in July, data showed, while another report said private employers cut 371,000 jobs last month. The ADP private-sector jobs report increased investors&rsquo; caution ahead of tomorrow&rsquo;s government data on July non-farm payrolls.<br /><br />Disappointing corporate outlooks also weighed on the market and spurred investors to ease off from a rally that had pushed the Dow and the S&amp;P 500 to nine-month highs. The Nasdaq had finished Tuesday&rsquo;s session at its highest close since early October.<br /><br />Consumer products giant Procter &amp; Gamble was the biggest drag on the Dow after it reported a slide in quarterly sales. P&amp;G&rsquo;s stock tumbled 2.8 per cent to $53.91.<br /><br />Cisco Systems could set a negative tone today after the company reported lower quarterly revenue after the closing bell and forecast first-quarter revenue would be down 15 to 17 per cent year-over-year.