Wall Street’s rally starts to lose steam

A month-long rally on Wall Street appears to be sputtering as stocks slipped yesterday in what investors called a possible warning of weakness ahead.

Weaker-than-expected home sales figures and a group of mixed earnings reports tempered the market’s recent buying interest.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 22.33 points, or 0.18 per cent, at 12,734.63. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 7.60 points, or 0.57 per cent, at 1,318.45. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 13.03 points, or 0.46 per cent, at 2,805.28.

With the S&P 500 up nearly five per cent for the year, analysts said the market was about due for a pullback.

Banks, which stand to benefit from a recovery in housing, fell back. The KBW Bank index dropped 2.2 per cent.

AT&T shares fell 2.5 per cent after disappointing results, and were the primary reason the telecom sector was the worst of the S&P’s 10 sectors.