US stocks decline despite upbeat data

New York, May 14 (IANS) US stocks ended lower on Friday as Wall Street digested a batch of generally positive economic reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 185.18 points, or 1.05 percent, to 17,535.32. The S&P 500 lost 17.50 points, or 0.85 percent, to 2,046.61. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 19.66 points, or 0.41 percent, to 4,717.68.

The advance estimates of US retail and food services sales for April were $453.4 billion, seasonally adjusted, an increase of 1.3 percent from the previous month and beating market consensus of a 0.9-percent gain, according to the Commerce Department on Friday, Xinhua reported.

“The second quarter is off to a solid start, lending credence to the idea this year’s Q1 slump was once again an aberration. While it is certainly too early to know if this is the start of a resurgent consumer, April retail sales give strong support to the idea spending is still on trend from last year,” said Jay Morelock, an economist at FTN Financial.

Meanwhile, the Producer Price Index for final demand rose 0.2 percent in April, seasonally adjusted, the US Labour Department reported on Friday. Final demand declined 0.1 percent in March and 0. 2 percent in February.

US consumer sentiment rebounded in May, ending a four straight fall as consumers expected wages to rise.

The preliminary reading of the consumer sentiment for May rose to 95.8 from 89 in April, said the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment on Friday.

For the week, the Dow tumbled 1.2 percent, and the S&P 500 decreased 0.5 percent, while the Nasdaq fell 0.4 percent.



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